Posts with tag: identity theft

Letting agent warned to be vigilant over identity theft

Published On: August 31, 2017 at 11:59 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,

A concerning new report has suggested that the identity theft of letting agents is currently at ‘epidemic levels.’

The research, carried out by UK anti-fraud organisation Cifas, reveals that people in their 30s were the most targeted, with most identity fraud taking place online.


In all, a whopping 89,000 cases were recorded during the opening 6 months of the year – a 5% rise in the same period 12 months ago and a new record high. The report states that there has been a considerable rise in ID fraudsters applying for insurance, telecoms and online retail.

Now, Rent4sure is urging letting agents to be very vigilant.

IT and Products Director, Jack Webb-Heller, noted: ‘At Rent4sure we follow stringent procedures to make sure an applicant is genuine.’

‘If a letting agent uses our checks appropriately, and uses all the guidance and recommendations we offer plus their usual checklist, it would be a big step forward in the battle to stop people fraudulently renting properties.’

Letting agent warned to be vigilant over identity theft

Letting agent warned to be vigilant over identity theft

‘Our system not only checks the address and name that applicants provide but also cross matches these against all the previous addresses and relevant information linked to that credit profile.’

‘We have a specially designed range of referencing services that work in tandem to ensure an identity isn’t stolen, which allows agents to choose the right product to cover any situation.’[1]





Identity Theft Becoming a Problem for Landlords

Published On: November 13, 2013 at 4:53 pm


Categories: Landlord News

Tags: ,

The UK’s highest rate of identity fraud is found in East Ham in London, with around seven times more attempts than the average across the UK, reveals fresh data.

Other places hit by high amounts of identity fraud are: Romford, Bexleyheath, Woolwich, Cheapside, Stratford, Ilford, Walthamstow, Lewisham, and Enfield.

Outside of the capita, the UK’s worst area for identity fraud cases is Altrincham in Cheshire, where there are 13 attempts for every 10,000 adults. This is over three times the national norm.

Independent estate and letting agency Balgores Property Group have claimed that identity fraud can lead to landlords being cheated of their rental income, and sometimes, losing the property altogether.

Identity Theft Becoming a Problem for Landlords

Identity Theft Becoming a Problem for Landlords

In a certain case, a tenant was convicted of selling his landlord’s property and taking a £90,000 profit.

Brian Kiddell got busted when his landlord saw a for sale sign outside the house, when driving by. Kiddell, 75, had sold the house on the internet and left with the money

Kiddell began the scam by renting the home in Newton Abbot, Devon, under the name Paul Stevenson; a man who had died in 2004. The property was then put up for sale under another name, David Ayton.

Kiddell was then imprisoned for six years, after he pleases guilty to nine offences of fraud, theft, and the dishonest use of a dead person’s passport. Kiddell had previously been jailed twice, and was involved in six scams.

Howard Lester, Director of Balgores Property Group, says: “This is an extreme and rare case. However, there are a lot of professional fraudsters out there that want to rent a property purely to secure an address from which they can carry out finance fraud.

“Often, they may pay a few months’ rent in advance, with no intention of paying all the rent due during their tenancy.

“Many use the property as a PO Box for the delivery of goods they have bought on stolen credit cards. They are very savvy and know they can live in a property for up to six months before a landlord possession order is enforced.”

He continues: “In that time, they can run up thousands of pounds in credit card debt and of course rental arrears.

“These fraudulent tenants can provide authentic looking passports and utility bills. They are also very difficult to evict, as they seem to know their way around the legal system.

“The only way landlords can protect themselves is by carrying out thorough tenant references including ID validation checks and taking out rent guarantee insurance, which will pay the rent in the event that the tenant defaults. All professional letting agents will be able to do this on a landlord’s behalf.”1