FSA issues broker warning over property hijacking

The Financial Services Authority is warning mortgage brokers to be wary of property hijacking.

The regulator reports it has seen an increase in cases where fraudsters are trying to obtain mortgages on empty properties they do not own, which it dubs property hijacking.

The fraud is perpetrated by out of area introducers that are unknown to brokers introducing business to them.

In its smaller firms regulation round-up for April the FSA states: “These have been attempts by fraudsters to raise mortgages on unencumbered properties which they do not own – property hijacking.

“This demonstrates the importance of undertaking appropriate due diligence when engaging in new relationships, to ensure that you know who you are dealing with and can identify any trends or anomalies in the business being offered.”