- Two men listed terraced house in Exhall, Warwickshire on specialist website
- Cash from sale was released to the fraudsters but deeds weren’t exchanged
- Scam was uncovered when Land Registry spotted their fake driving licences
- Their photos did not match the names of a man and a woman listed on IDs
Police are hunting for two fraudsters who pocketed £50,000 by selling someone else’s house.
The two men put the terraced home in Exhall, Warwickshire, on the market through a specialist agency and managed to complete a sale using fake driving licences.
Their scam was only uncovered when the Land Registry looked at the sale and found out that the names on the two IDs – of the man and woman who actually owned the house – did not match the photos, which were of two men.
Suspects: Warwickshire police are looking for the two men pictured above in connection with the scam. The names used on the IDs used in the sale, of a man and a woman, were correct, but did not match the photos
Police are now unable to trace the pair – who had no link to the property – and believe it is the first time the scam has been pulled off in Britain.
Warwickshire Police has released the pictures of two Asian men used on the fake driving licences in a bid to track down the fraudsters.
The terraced home was listed for sale on a specialist buy-to-let website in 2012 and the sale was finalised in December that year. It was vacant at the time because the occupants had moved elsewhere.
The money from the sale was released to the two fraudsters but luckily the deeds were never exchanged after the Land Registry stepped in.
And a man from Northampton who had bought the property managed to get his money back from insurers.
Detective Constable Simon Setchell, from Warwickshire Police, said: ‘The money that went into the bank account was very quickly withdrawn and spirited away to purchase gold bullion and other things.
Listed online: A street in Exhall, Warwickshire, where the property was put up for sale. Warwickshire police said that the owner of the home had no idea what was going on
‘They knew what they were doing. We’ve spoken to the owner of the home who wasn’t particularly impressed – he certainly had no idea what was going on.
‘This gentleman became aware that this property was for sale. He asked a solicitor in Milton Keynes to carry out a purchase for him which they did via a company in Rugby.
‘Two Asian males purporting to be the owners of the property provided proof of ID as required to the Rugby solicitor and the sale went through.
‘Fortunately the Land Registry were carrying out some sample testing and they looked at the driving licences of the owner and his wife used in the sale.
‘The names were correct but the pictures used were both of males.
‘The property was listed at a reduced price which drew the buyer’s attention to it. This was an extraordinary crime, in which those involved were able to fraudulently deceive everyone involved in the sale of the house for their own gain.
‘We have been investigating all lines of inquiry into this case, and we hope that by releasing the photographs which were used on the fake driving licences, we can track down the individuals whom we wish to speak to.’
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