Commenting on the return to work in the property market, John Dobson, CEO at AML specialists SmartSearch, said: “After several weeks of deep uncertainty, it’s only natural that estate agents and others involved in the property market will want to get back to doing deals again as quickly as possible. But the return to work is the point of maximum danger when it comes to the risk of fraud and money laundering.
“Criminals will be on the lookout for any sign that defences have been lowered, where agencies are not at full strength or may be tempted to cut corners in order to get deals done quickly. The Financial Action Task Force – the global financial crime watchdog – has recently warned of the heightened risk of fraud and money-laundering during the present crisis.
“Estate agents, conveyancers, brokers and lenders all need to be on red alert for suspicious activity.”