In January this year, the Chronicle Live reported scams based on necessary Brexit passport renewals. A phishing email is made to appear as if it comes from a legitimate source, say Gov.co.uk, which leads the reader to a webpage where they enter all their details, so the fraudster can use them to generate fake travel documents.
Then later, in June this year, the Daily Mail reported stolen and fake passports being sold on FaceBook for “as little as £800”.
At Keysafe, we uncover an average of one fake passport every other day, potentially saving the landlord from trouble – and the letting agent from a disgruntled client – further down the line.
Forgeries come from all locations, and every part of the market; it’s by no means just urban areas. The most exclusive properties are just as likely to attract problems as small, inexpensive properties.
No landlord or letting agent is immune, and (even though you might convey this impression to the applicant) the process should never be treated as a simple formality.
Worryingly, we’ve been sent several fake passports that had previously been accepted as genuine by other referencing companies.
In each case, the letting agent themselves had been trained in the fundamentals of spotting a forgery and taken it upon themselves to send us the document for a second opinion.
It shows the value of equipping agents to act as a first line of defence, which is why we’re investing so much time and effort in working with our colleagues at Passport Proven to provide training to hundreds of ARLA members. Get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org for their free guide on how to check a passport.
Impersonation is the simplest and fastest growing type of passport fraud: someone who looks like the real owner using a passport or identity document. To make sure your prospective tenant isn’t an imposter, follow these steps:
For more information get in touch at email@example.com.