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Fraudsters | Spotting Introducer Fraud Scheme And ID Theft


Liz Syms
Liz Syms, CEO of Connect for Intermediaries

As Liz Syms highlighted, fraudsters continuously refine their techniques to stay ahead in today’s mortgage industry. Brokers must disseminate and adopt robust practices to detect introducer fraud, scheme abuse, and identity theft effectively.

Some deceitful individuals meticulously plan three months ahead for their fraudulent endeavours. They manipulate their bank accounts by crediting them with amounts they later represent as legitimate salaries. Fabricated payslips substantiate these. Brokers must remain diligent and implement checks to validate the authenticity of reported income. These measures include scrutinising payslips for glaring errors, such as inaccurate tax codes or discrepancies in year-to-date figures.

Moreover, brokers must confirm the employer’s legitimacy. This involves verifying the employer’s existence and, sometimes, conducting direct phone inquiries to ascertain the client’s employment status. As fraudsters evolve, brokers must enhance their vigilance against sophisticated tactics. The financial industry must stay proactive and collaborate to share best practices. This fortifies defences against the ever-adapting landscape of fraudulent activities.

Introducer fraud

In the ever-evolving financial landscape, fraudsters refine techniques, making it crucial for brokers to share best practices. Brokers must identify introducer fraud, scheme abuse, and identity theft, as Liz Syms stresses the need for vigilance.

Deceitful actors now use advanced tactics, like planning three months ahead by manipulating their bank accounts. They also portray falsely inflated salaries with fabricated payslips. Brokers should implement stringent checks to validate income authenticity, scrutinising payslips for errors like inaccurate tax codes. Additionally, confirming the claimed employer’s existence through thorough checks, including direct phone inquiries, is crucial.


In a recent incident, a phone call to a supposedly reputable employer revealed the client’s lack of association. This revelation uncovered the introducer’s complicity in the fraud, preventing the submission of a deceptive case. It also safeguarded the broker’s reputation.

Recognizing the escalating threat, lenders acknowledge that much fraud originates from introduced cases. Brokers are often unwittingly caught in the crossfire. To combat this, some lenders contemplate establishing a centralised repository of known fraudulent introducers. This initiative could significantly enhance fraud prevention across the industry.

Establishing direct, personal contact with clients is paramount in navigating these risks. Syms underscores the importance of obtaining documents directly from clients. This approach provides an additional layer of security against fraudulent activities.

As the financial landscape evolves, the industry must remain adaptable and proactive. Implementing measures to thwart increasingly sophisticated fraud schemes is crucial.

Scheme abuse

Fraudsters’ sophistication is rising. Liz Syms stresses the need for brokers to share best practices in detecting fraud.

Certain fraudsters take elaborate measures months in advance. They deposit amounts, which are later shown as legitimate salaries on fake payslips.

Brokers must thoroughly check income and examine payslips for errors like incorrect tax codes or year-to-date figures. Verification also includes confirming the employer’s existence and directly communicating to verify the client’s employment.

Scheme abuse is growing, often driven by clients eager to upgrade to a larger property without showing affordability. More clients want a buy-to-let mortgage for their new residential property, admitting they can’t get a conventional loan.

These aspirations often fade when clients understand the consequences of having a buy-to-let mortgage on a residential property.

Simple, probing questions can reveal a client’s true intentions for a buy-to-let mortgage. Determining if they are first-time landlords or if the new property is bigger than their current home provides context. Proximity to the client’s workplace and alignment with their property portfolio are also important factors. If full assurance is elusive, call the estate agent to ask if the client intends to rent or reside. This multi-layered approach is essential in navigating the evolving landscape of financial deceit.

Verification tools

Liz Syms highlights that fraudsters are continually enhancing their tactics in financial dealings. To combat this sophistication, brokers must collaborate and share effective strategies for detecting introducer fraud, scheme abuse, and identity theft.

Some perpetrators meticulously plan their schemes three months ahead, manipulating their bank accounts. They inflate balances with amounts misrepresented as legitimate salaries through fabricated payslips. Brokers must adopt a proactive stance, implementing checks to validate income sources. This includes scrutinising payslips for errors like inaccurate tax codes or year-to-date figures. Additionally, brokers should confirm the existence of the purported employer and, if necessary, directly inquire to authenticate the client’s employment status.

Addressing the challenges of scheme abuse and weeding out the fraudsters, it’s acknowledged that lenders possess advanced fraud prevention tools like SIRA and Hunters. However, brokers can leverage cost-effective alternatives to enhance their scrutiny. Platforms like enable brokers to independently verify address history by searching voter roll records, shedding light on potential irregularities such as family members residing in buy-to-let properties or examining historical sale prices. emerges as another valuable resource in the broker’s arsenal. Beyond fulfilling regulatory obligations by screening clients against sanctions and politically exposed person (PEP) lists, this platform offers multifaceted identity verification. Brokers can authenticate identities using passports or driving licenses, verify dates of birth, assess public credit status records (including CCJs), scrutinise bank details, national insurance numbers, telephone numbers, and more.

The nominal costs associated with these systems, ranging from a few pence to a few pounds per search type, pale in comparison to the potential risks of neglecting thorough checks. In the spirit of collective vigilance, brokers are encouraged to share insights into the systems they employ and the advantages gained. By fostering an environment of shared knowledge, the industry can collectively fortify its defences and maintain resilient businesses in the face of evolving fraudulent tactics.

This concludes our topic on fraudsters with Liz Syms.

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