Investors get duped: tax fraud scam on rise

04 Feb 2014
Tax fraud scams involving the sale and re-mortgaging of property without the owners’ consent are on the rise.

NSW Fair Trading Minister Stuart Ayres has issued a warning regarding tax scams in which property owners are duped into giving out their details, which are then used by scammers to assume the identity of the owners and sell or re-mortgage their property.

Ayres said the scam letter offers landlords living overseas the opportunity to claim a tax exemption on rental incomes. 

“The scam email advises agencies of managing landlords to forward forms to them to complete and return to the scammer,” he said. 

“The forms require detailed personal information as well as photocopies of passports and mortgage account numbers.” 

Peter Cutajar, legal counsel for insurer First Title, said recent years have seen an upsurge in this kind of property fraud – much of which goes unreported.

“There’s certainly been an increase. There are organised crime groups now involved in this whereas before it was much more disorganised,” said Cutajar.

“When there’s a bank involved they’ll often settle without it being reported because obviously this kind of thing could cause some reputational damage for the bank.”

In a recent example in Perth, scammers made off with nearly $500,000 after selling a defrauded property.

“The owners of that property were left with defending a claim by the mortgagee for possession of the property at their own expense and with the uncertainty of not knowing whether they will recover or lose their home.” Cutajar said.

Top Suburbs : south brisbane , canterbury , woolloongabba , werribee , dulwich hill


Get help with your investment property

Do you need help finding the right loan for your investment?

When investing in property, it is important to make sure that you not only have the lowest available rate that you can get, but also have the correct loan features for your needs.

Just fill in a few details below and we'll then arrange for a local mortgage broker to contact you and work out what features or types of loans are right for your needs. We'll even help with the paperwork. Plus an appointment is free.

How soon would you like a mortgage?
What is your Annual Household Income i $
Do you currently own any Investment Properties?
Do you own your own residence?
How much equity do you have in all your current properties?
First Name
Last Name
Where do you live?
What number can we reach you on?
E-mail address
We value your privacy and treat all your information seriously - you can check out our privacy policy here