Landlords warned to protect themselves as cases of fraud up by 25%

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Cases of reported fraud increased by over 25% last year with men in their mid-40s most vulnerable, according to the UK’s fraud prevention service.

A total of 276,933 frauds were recorded last year – that’s 758 frauds every day or 31 every hour.

This figure is up from 221,075 in 2013, with 23% of fraud victims aged between 41 and 50, according to the figures from the CIFAS Annual Report.

The study also revealed that 2014 saw a 15% year-on-year increase in cases involving those aged over 55 year-on-year, with men 1.7 times more likely to have their identity stolen than women.

By far the most common type of fraud is identity theft, making up 41% of all cases. Fraudsters often impersonate victims by abusing personal data and forging documents or by creating fictitious identities. Such crimes totalled 114,00 cases last year – up 5% on 2013.

Landlords are also warned to be on the lookout, as cases of property fraud are also prevalent nationwide. These can involve tenants assuming the landlord’s identity to rent out or even sell their property.

“Our Legal Expenses and Property Disputes Insurance also protects landlords against identity theft by their tenants, which is a growing problem in the private rented sector,” says a spokesperson for Discount Landlord.

Geographically, big-cities such as London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leicester, Leeds and Glasgow are among the top fraud hotspots.

If you think you have been victim of property fraud you can call the Land Registry’s free helpline on 0300 006 7030 (Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm).

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