Fraudsters target homebuyers as UK mortgage approvals rise

Jan 11, 2021
Stephen is one of the firm’s tax partners. He specialises in income tax, capital gains tax, corporation tax, inheritance tax, and stamp duty land tax. He also specialises in advising property and construction businesses.
Fraudsters target homebuyers

Due to the government’s stamp duty holiday and many people rethinking their living arrangements because of the pandemic. UK mortgage approvals have increased to the highest amount in 13 years. The Bank of England has reported that 105,000 mortgages had been approved by banks and building societies in November 2020. The highest amount since August 2007.


Fraudsters target homebuyers

With the increased levels of UK mortgage approvals, there has been a rise in fraudsters targeting homebuyers. This is due to the large amounts of money that is transferred when purchasing a home, making homebuyers an attractive target for criminals. Due to the pandemic, more people are now communicating via email, which makes it easier for fraudsters to intercept emails from solicitors,  banks, and mortgage lenders and replace the payment details with their bank account details. UK Finance reported that in the first half of 2020 fraudsters stole a total of £16.2m via sending fake emails with new payment details.


How to reduce the risk of fraud?

With the end of the stamp duty land tax holiday approaching fast, many homebuyers will be looking to move before the window closes. Therefore, homebuyers may rush through the process making them more vulnerable to fraudsters as they are less likely to take the appropriate precautions. Homebuyers are now being warned to take additional precautions in order to avoid being scammed. We advise that you should always call your bank/mortgage lender before transferring any money (especially large amounts) to double-check the payment details are correct.


How can we help?

At Hawsons we have a dedicated team of specialist property accountants at our offices in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton. Having an accountant who understands the challenges of this dynamic sector and is able to help you plan for the future is an advantage in a competitive environment. At Hawsons we have a great deal of experience in advising and helping businesses in property and construction and we can assist you as your business grows.

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Stephen Charles

Tax Partner, Sheffield

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