Fraud plot only foiled when owner’s daughter saw property listed on Rightmove

An identity fraud plot was only stopped when a woman saw her father’s £750,000 home advertised on Rightmove and police were called.

Her father’s post had been intercepted and the deeds of his property in Cheshire transferred into the name of fraudster Saeed Ghani, 30, of Manchester.

In two other cases, the identities of a husband and wife were stolen in an attempt to transfer the deeds of their property.

Ghani worked with accomplices Atif Mahmood and Toma Ramanauskaite on scams which also included the theft of a couple’s pension worth nearly £90,000.

Ghani and Ramanauskaite intercepted the couple’s post, took out driving licences in their names and then used these as ID to open new bank accounts.

They subsequently approached the pension company to successfully transfer the money.

Ghani has been jailed at Preston Crown Court for seven and a half years and Mahmood for two years and two years. Ramanauskaite is to be sentenced next month.

Det Sgt Phil Larratt, from Greater Manchester Police’s fraud team, said: “In all three cases Ghani worked with an associate to hijack people’s identities by stealing their mail.

“Fraudsters can use your identity details to open new bank accounts, request new driving licences and even try and steal your own home.

“We urge the public to secure their mail boxes and employ measures to protect their identities.”

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  1. Rob Hailstone

    In a recent letter to the Law Society Gazette a correspondent said:
    “I make sure my team always send a hard copy letter to the actual property and any different address for service. One day I was shocked to be contacted by the real owner who advised he had not been to our offices to meet us. The potential fraudster had passed our online ID check!
    I sent the real owner a copy of the Land Registry’s Fraud Prevention leaflet, but surely an alert should be sent whenever anyone downloads a title giving information about who downloads it? More radically, the register should once again be closed to the public.”
    Food for thought?

    1. Will

      Check at the land registry; there is a system in place similar to that proffered in your second paragraph where you can sign up for property alerts  on (I think up to 10 properties) and they tell you who made the application. This is particularly useful for landlords who rent out their properties.

    2. Mark Walker

      Stop making it hard to stalk people, Rob.


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