Be vigilant to fraudsters stealing keys to empty property

On Saturday 6 March, a branch of a corporate lettings agency in London experienced a well-prepared scam attempt designed to steal keys to a vacant residential property.

Key in the door

Fraudulent tenancy agreements

Individuals masquerading as tenants, visited the office with a fraudulent tenancy agreement, saying that they were there to collect keys. The staff member became suspicious and called the negotiator to check the tenant’s details. In discussion, the team realised that the tenancy agreement was fraudulent and the member of staff in the office refused to hand over the keys.

The circumstances of the set up were unusual in the level of preparation that had gone into key theft: the fraudsters had identified a vacant property, they had created a branded, two-page tenancy agreement showing the correct property address and they are thought to have targeted the office on a Saturday, in the belief that they could exploit communication loopholes making ‘Saturday staff’ an easier target.

Propertymark members are advised to revisit their procedures and ensure that robust systems are in place to avoid being trapped through resourceful and determined criminal activity.

A selection of Propertymark forms and templates
Templates and forms

We create templates to help you comply with complicated legislation, so you can rest assured you are ticking the right boxes and can focus on other areas of your business.