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Written by rosalind renshaw

The Financial Services Authority has sent out a warning about ‘property hijacking’ – the practice whereby fraudsters try to raise mortgages on empty properties that they do not own.

The FSA says it has seen an increase in cases of property hijacking.

The warning has gone out to smaller mortgage broking firms, but agents and landlords should also be aware of the potential for fraud.

In its smaller firms regulation round-up for April, the FSA warns mortgage brokers: “There have been attempts by fraudsters to raise mortgages on unencumbered properties which they do not own – property hijacking.

“This demonstrates the importance of undertaking appropriate due diligence when engaging in new relationships, to ensure that you know who you are dealing with and can identify any trends or anomalies in the business being offered.”