Feeds

ID theft hits home in Canada

Property scams create legal chaos

The Power of One Infographic

Identity thieves posed as home owners in order to sell the rental property of an elderly Canadian immigrant.

Paul Reviczky, 89, who fled Hungary for Canada in 1957 in order to escape communism, has become the latest in a string of victims of property title fraud in Canada, the Toronto Star reports.

Reviczky's bungalow in the North York area was sold without his knowledge, leaving him hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Reviczky is unable to recover his property because local laws favour purchasers over victims of fraud. The crime has left the property in a state of legal limbo with the purchaser unable to live there and Reviczky legally unable to even to enter the premises. "I was shocked to learn that this could be the law in Canada," Reviczky told the Toronto Star. "I fled Hungary to escape lawlessness like this and now my sense of security in Canada is gone."

Ontario minister of government services Gerry Phillips pledged to change the land registry system in order to guard against title fraud.

Reviczky purchased the bungalow for C$67,500 in 1980. The retired tobacco farmer used rental income from the property to pay for the education of relatives back in Hungary. Reviczky, whose wife died in February 2005, lives in a nearby house. He only learned that the bungalow had been sold second hand when a local estate agent congratulated him a month after the sale had been completed.

Investigators reckon that con-men forged the power of attorney necessary to complete the sale in the name of fictitious grandson of Reviczky. Posing as Aaron Paul Reviczky, a fraudster sold the property for C$450,000 back in May. Former tenants of the property are the most likely perpetrators of the scam, police reckon. The purchaser, Pegman Meleknia, took out a mortgage of C$337,500 to complete the sale.

Reviczky, who hasn't seen a cent of the proceeds, is more interested in recovering his home than the profits from its sale. However, Ontario law recognises a purchase as valid in cases, like this, where a purchaser is not in on a scam.

The case has several local precedents. Local widow Susan Lawrence faces the loss of a home she's lived in for 30 years after crooks used publically available information to pose as her and sell her home out from under her feet.

In another case, an actress lost her home to ID thieves who sold her property to an accomplice, who disappeared after securing a bogus $250,000 mortgage in her name. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
Price cuts, new features coming for Office 365 small biz customers
New plans for companies with up to 300 staff to launch in fall
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.