Criminal gangs are carrying out an elaborate property scam by targeting unsuspecting Gedling borough homeowners.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau’s (NFIB) Proactive Intelligence Team is warning homeowners about organised criminal groups that are target empty properties in the area to apply for mortgages and loans.
The team have gathered information that shows criminal networks identifying empty properties by using names on the published obituaries and carrying out research on the Land Registry.
Once a suitable property is discovered the criminal group then organise for fake documentation to be produced and register on the electoral role and with utility providers.
The group tirelessly work through the legal hurdles until the funds are released by the organisation, whilst the innocent party has no idea a crime has taken place.
The gangs are also targeting properties where owners are living abroad, absent or properties owned by elderly people who are away for long periods of time due to hospital or residential care.
A spokesman for NFIB said: “Owners who are concerned their property might be subject to a fraudulent sale or mortgage can quickly alert the Land Registry and speak to specially trained staff for practical guidance about what to do next by calling the Property Fraud Line on 0300 006 7030.
“Make sure your property is registered with the Land Registry – you will be compensated for financial loss if you do fall victim to fraud. Keep your contact information up to date once registered so you can be easily contacted if a complication arises.
They added: “Sign up for Land Registry’s free Property Alert service. If someone tries to take out a mortgage on a home you own you’ll receive an alert. You can then judge whether the activity is suspicious and seek further advice”