Fraud in the News

A house of cards and more

A house of cards

When Andrew Smith rented a house in Cambridge, U.K., he immediately set about trying to sell the three-bedroom property through a fake online real estate company. In November, Smith received a 2 1/2-year jail sentence for his fraudulent scheme.

Police nabbed Smith after neighbors alerted a prospective buyer that the house was rented. The buyer contacted the letting agents who in turn reported the fraud to law enforcement.

To decorate the house, Smith had rented furniture from a company that provides furniture for showrooms. The unsuspecting buyer almost parted with 400,000 pounds in what one police constable described as an “almost unbelievable and truly brazen crime.” (See “Man jailed for trying to sell someone else’s house,” by Debbie Luxon, Independent, Nov. 9, 2022.)

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