On March 8th, Teranet hosted 2023’s first Market Insight Forum, focusing on the most predominant issue affecting the real estate industry, mortgage brokers, financial institutions, and consumers alike: real estate fraud. On theme with Fraud Prevention Month, the 90-minute virtual session focused on Combatting Real Estate Fraud in 2023.
Teranet’s Vice President of Property Solutions & Business Development, Colin Morris, hosted the panel featuring Lauren van den Berg, President & CEO of Mortgage Professionals Canada (MPC), John Armit, Economic Crimes and Corruption Unit, ECCU – Ottawa and Detective Constable, Anti-Rackets Branch, Ontario Provincial Police, Lori Swartz, Legal Counsel, TitlePLUS and Brian Santos, Provincial Director for Southern Ontario and the Chair of OREA’s Government Relations Committee.
During the session, all critical topics related to real estate fraud were discussed. This included fraud trends, controlling increasing fraud cases, establishing an effective due diligence process and what industry leaders are doing to combat fraud.
The following are a few key takeaways from the session:
- Data shows that only 5-10% of victims report their scams. Reporting the scam is imperative in the fight against fraud.
- As of January 31st, $43.6 million has been lost to fraud. In 2022 Canada lost $531 million to fraud which is 29.5% higher than the pre-pandemic times.
- There has been a considerable increase in identity theft, which is one of the most common ways of committing real estate fraud (including but not limited to title and mortgage fraud).
- Digital income verification plays a crucial role in curbing mortgage-related fraud.
- A thorough background check and multiple sources to verify identity and income are among the best ways to fight increasing real estate fraud cases.
Here are a few resources shared during the session that you can use to educate, inform and protect yourself and your associates from fraud.
Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada