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Beware these common property scams

Posted 18/03/2024 by Alex Moore
Categories: Buying, Selling, Tenants
Property scams

Scammers target the UK property market regularly, so you must understand the reality of property fraud.

Fraudsters are always looking for unsuspecting victims they can take advantage of to make some quick cash.

They can be very calculating and will try to use your trust in legitimate brands against you.

If you ever feel like a correspondence you've received is strange, you should act on it. Do not send any money and contact your legitimate estate agent for advice.

Although fraudsters are always coming up with new ways to scam their victims, there are some warning signs you should be aware of to help protect you from fraud.

Email hacking

Email hacking, or 'Friday afternoon fraud', is when a scammer gains access to your email.

Once they have access, they will monitor your account until there is an opportune moment to send an email asking you for money.

Their email will impersonate a legitimate party such as your estate agent, solicitor, conveyancer, etc... and will provide you with their bank details and request a payment from you.

There will be some red flags that will help you spot a fake email

  • An inconsistent sender email address that does not match the brand or the contact details you already have
  • They only want you to contact them through this one email address
  • Bad grammar, spelling, or structure
  • They use urgent language to try and pressure you into sending a payment quickly

You should use two-step authentication on your email account to provide an extra layer of protection from those trying to access your account.

Property title fraud

Fraudsters may pretend to be a potential buyer and make an offer for your property.

This offer will eventually fall through, but in the process they will have collected personal information about you and your property.

They will then attempt to transfer the ownership of your property using the information they have acquired, hence the name property title fraud.

If they are successful they can take out loans using your home as collateral.

With the HM Land Registry you can set up property alerts to inform you if anyone attempts to change the ownership of your home.

If someone sends you an offer without viewing your property first, this could be a warning sign that the offer is not legitimate.

When a buyer sends you an offer you should talk to your local branch experts for advice and guidance, especially if you are unsure.

Fake conveyancers

Similar to how fraudsters impersonate legitimate parties with Friday afternoon fraud, scammers often try to impersonate conveyancers to trick you into sending them money.

They could contact you via an email or letter replicating a legitimate conveyancer's branding to try and gain your trust.

When a conveyancer contacts you, you should always think about your legitimate interactions with them and consider how the correspondence you've received compares.

If in doubt, contact your conveyancer on your already established channel of communication for confirmation.

When you go with conveyancing for buying or selling with Reeds Rains, you'll have 24/7 access to your case tracking online meaning you can monitor your progress at any time to see if an email you've received lines up with where you are in the process.

Rental scams

Fraudsters posing as fake landlords will create false rental property listings to scam renters.

These fake rental property listings are to trick unsuspecting renters into reaching out for a property that either doesn't exist or is not theirs to let.

If you do contact them, they will likely ask for a payment for a viewing.

Viewings should be free, so if a landlord asks for a payment upfront it could be a scam.

Some scammers might go further and request you send a security deposit or first month's rent well before they should.

You should beware any property listing that:

  • Has badly written property descriptions
  • Doesn't have photographs
  • Is offered for below the average rent in the area
  • That asks for a payment for a viewing

When you rent with Reeds Rains you can be certain that the properties available to let are legitimate.


To avoid scams you need to remain aware. You should always contact the legitimate party if you receive contact from them that seems suspicious.

With Reeds Rains you can get expert guidance from local experts on all aspects of your property journey.

Find my local Reeds Rains branch

Alex Moore

Reeds Rains E-marketing Executive

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