Police have uncovered another property-related fraud case only weeks after the NSW government warned agents and consumers to be on guard for real estate scams.
According to a statement from NSW Police, a man has been charged for falsely acting as a real estate agent and defrauding $730,000 from a 52-year-old man.
A Hinchinbrook man contacted Liverpool Detectives in May 2010 after he discovered he had allegedly been defrauded in relation to the purchase of a property at Edmondson Park, in Sydney's outer south west suburbs.
Between April 2007 and January 2010, the victim allegedly deposited a total of $730,000 into an account belonging to a man claiming to be representing the owner of the property.
Following exhaustive inquiries, a 36-year-old man was arrested by Liverpool Detectives at Wagga Wagga Police Station yesterday.
He was charged with obtaining a benefit by deception and ordered to appear in Campbelltown Local Court on 14 November 2012.
Earlier this month, NSW Fair Trading minister Anthony Roberts said the new real estate fraud prevention guidelines were designed to combat an increase in identity fraud and scams.
The launch of the guidelines come after two, highly publicised incidents in 2010 and 2011 that resulted in properties being sold in Western Australia without the knowledge and consent of the lawful property owners.
“These sales were undertaken by real estate agents who were contacted by criminals masquerading as the true owners,” Mr Roberts said.
“Financial institutions have stringent security measures in place to combat identity fraud and property agents need to be on high alert for potential fraudulent real estate transactions, particularly where there is no mortgagee and the property is wholly owned.”