Police investigating home sale fraud in Canberra

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ACT Policing is investigating a real estate fraud in which a Canberra property has been sold without the consent of the home owner, who resides overseas.

After consultation with the Royal South African Police (RSA), ACT Policing has taken carriage of the investigation which will determine how the home owner, who resides in South Africa, was defrauded of the Macgregor home. Police will investigate a series of exchanges which led to the sale of the property without the owner’s knowledge or consent, and the disbursement of the funds generated by the deception.

ACT Policing has joined with the ACT Office of Regulatory Services and ACT Attorney General Simon Corbell in warning home owners to be vigilant of scammers, particularly if an owner is residing or travelling overseas.

The absence of the home owner and an inability to personally review documentation which may be fraudulent provides leverage for the scammers to operate. Police would urge home owners residing overseas or travelling overseas for a lengthy period to establish robust protocols which protect and confirm their bona fides.

ACT Policing would urge anyone who suspects they may be a victim of this type of fraud to report it to Police Operations on 131-444. Any questions relating to regulations surrounding the sale of property in the ACT should be directed to the Office of Regulatory Services on 6207 3000 (select 8).

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3 Responses to “Police investigating home sale fraud in Canberra”

  1. Chris
    July 24, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    I have now been told that the owner needs to provide 100 points of identification and be present in person to be able to change a title record. The government needs to tell us what a “robust protocol” means. Obviously someone was able to circumvent the existing safeguards if the owner was in South Africa.

  2. Chris
    July 24, 2014 at 10:27 am #

    I don’t understand how the home-owner could have avoided this massive theft. Owners no longer have the original Title Deed in a bank vault. Anyone can obtain a copy of the title printout. I have a friend who has the ‘talent’ to easily forge signatures. Real estate agents are trusted about the same as used-car salesmen, according to those annual surveys. What safeguards are left?

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