At the recent National Conference of Canadas Credit Union Association, our Vice President of National Underwriting Counsel Brigitte Beauchesne spoke on “How to reduce the risk of Fraud and Forgery in the Canadian Mortgage Industry.”
Fraud and Forgery are always a hot topic for discussion in several industries, especially in the Canadian mortgage industry. As a company, we are constantly discussing this topic – strategizing and exploring ways to help our clients conduct safe and verified transactions.
In her presentation, she identified the common types of scams as theft and fraud. Fraud is the act of obtaining any property, money, valuable security, or service through falsehood. The difference between fraud and theft is that while there is consent for fraud, there is no consent for theft, but it might be obtained by deceit or under pretenses.
She also explored the types of fraud in the industry, which include; Identity fraud and Mortgage fraud. Identity fraud occurs when someone uses another person’s personal identifying information like their name, identifying number, or credit card number without their permission to commit fraud or other crimes. Mortgage fraud is the process of fraudulently putting a house deed in another person’s name.
There are several ways to spot a mortgage fraud – pressure to act immediately, discrepancies in the ID presented vs. the personality of the supposed owner, checking for typos in the names and addresses on the ID. She emphasized that real estate lawyers should not heavily rely on third-party verification services; one should conduct their verification knowing that safer transactions are always better than faster transactions to avoid and reduce the risk of fraud.