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March is Anti Fraud Month:

Avoid being a mortgage-fraud victim!

I woke up to an article online today that needs sharing!  March is Anti Fraud month.  You can read the official Canadian website regarding this subject by clicking here.
Fraud is a very real present day threat, and something that I personally think that we don’t apply enough attention to.  There are many different  varieties, shall we say, of fraud:

  • Mortgage Fraud (more on that in a moment)
  • Investment Fraud
  • Online Shopping Scams
  • Facebook Contest Scams, and of course
  • Identity Theft

These are all very serious, and could change your life in a moment.  We need to be aware.  The article I read this morning that made me think more about this topic is this:

“March is Fraud Prevention Month, and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation offers the following tips to protect yourself against becoming a victim of mortgage fraud.

Mortgage fraud occurs when someone deliberately misrepresents information in order to obtain mortgage financing that would not have been granted if the truth had been known.

This can include: . Misstating one’s position or inflating one’s income or length of service at their job;

  • Misstating employment status (i.e. salaried/full time versus contract, part time, hourly or commission-based or self-employed);
  • Misrepresenting the amount and/ or source of the down payment;
  • Purchasing a rental property and misrepresenting it as owner-occupied;
  • Not disclosing existing mortgage and/or debt obligations;
  • Misrepresenting property details or omitting information in order to inflate the property value;
  • Adding co-borrowers who will not be residing in the home and do not intend to take responsibility for the mortgage.

Another common form of fraud is when a con artist convinces someone with good credit to act as a “straw buyer.”

A straw buyer is someone who agrees to put his or her name on a mortgage application on behalf of another person. In return for their participation, straw buyers may be offered cash or promised high returns when the property is sold. Often, straw buyers are deceived into believing they will not be responsible for the mortgage payments.

Borrowers who misrepresent information and straw buyers who allow a property to be purchased in their name are committing mortgage fraud and will be responsible for any financial shortfall in the event of default. They may also be held criminally responsible for their misrepresentation.

If you suspect that you or someone you know has been the victim of mortgage fraud, please contact your local police department or the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.”

Let’s become fully aware of the dangers during this month, every month for that matter, and take every precaution possible.

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