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City police reveal huge upturn in mortgage fraud

The City of London police force has revealed a massive upturn in cases of mortgage fraud being investigated.

The City force has reported a 72 per cent increase in cases of financial fraud in the last 12 months, and says much of that is a result of the increase in cases of mortgage fraud.

Last month both Chelsea building society and Bradford & Bingley revealed multi-million pound provisions as a result of buy-to-let mortgage frauds discovered on their mortgage books.

City of London’s economic crime directorate chief detective chief superintendent Steve Head says: “Mortgage fraud is happening all over the country. It has jumped from nothing 18 months ago to being one of the biggest areas of investigation.”

Head says his unit has yet to see the full picture of how big mortgage fraud is in the UK, and urges mortgage lenders to be more forthcoming in their reports of mortgage crime.

He says: “Greed is the driving factor in fraud. There are some where there are family links, some cultural links and some where the only link is greed. But a valuer is a key figure in the process.”

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