The May '23 Fraud Monthly Round Up

Monthly Fraud Round Up - May

Over £1.09m caught in tenancy fraud in May '23

The cost of living crisis continues to loom over Britain as more news of mortgage rate increases further squeezes the disposable income of many around the UK.

What does this mean for letting agents and the wider rental market? Well, the trend, almost unfailingly, shows us that tenancy fraud increases as economic hardship becomes greater. Higher mortgage costs means higher rent prices as landlords look to pass the cost on to their tenants.

The majority of this month's tenancy fraud was caught in the greater London area and we picked up a number of fake bank statements, payslips, fake websites and even a fake tax return as we continue to fish out tenancy fraud.

£82bn in UK rental properties occupied by fraudtsers - graphic

UK fraudster profile for May

In these tougher economic times, Homeppl strives to be as transparent as possible in the fight against the rising trend of tenancy and more broadly, application fraud by sharing with letting agents and landlords the latest fraud trends on a monthly basis.

Here is the Homeppl fraud report for May:

April 23 - Homeppl Fraud Report Graph

May 23 Fraud Report

So what are the changes in data from April to May?

In a nutshell:

Gender & age

There has been no significant shift in gender or age metrics this month. However, the proportion of male perpetrators in fraud cases increased from 65% in April to 70% in May.

The average age increased from 30.7 to 30.9.


For the last three months the average claimed income of our fraudsters sat within the £70k bracket, with April averaging out at £71,275. This figure shot up considerably to £98, 541 in May.

Given that there hasn't been a noticeable rise in the average age of the individuals involved in fraudulent activities, we can attribute this trend primarily to the high concentration of fraud cases occurring within the boundaries of London.


In addition to the considerable shift in the income trend, there has also been a a significant MoM trend change in the UK fraud landscape this month. In March and April we flagged tenancy fraud in Manchester, Liverpool, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Surrey, Dublin, Exeter and Kent. This month, London accounted for a whopping 90% of all cases.

In May, another notable shift in the data demands the attention of estate and letting agents in London: West London has emerged as the leading hotspot for tenancy fraud in the UK. Throughout the entirety of 2023, East London had consistently been the epicenter for rental fraud. However, West London now accounts for 66% of all reported fraud cases in London.

Fraud Spotlight 💡

tax return fraud

This month's fraud spotlight highlights a fake tax return that was submitted half-way through the month.

As well as fake bank statements and payslips, our document analysis tool, Fraud Finder also has the capability to scan other financial documents for fraudulent modifications. One of our less submitted documents is the tax return.

Although it seems that there is not much wrong with the tax return if you examine the document visually. In fact, we can see from it's metadata that there's about 4 months between the creation and modification date and it was edited using Adobe photoshop, which is blacklisted software.

If this fraud was approved undetected, she may have cost our client almost £80,000 in contract value, legal and eviction costs.

For the latest available monthly fraud report, please click below:

June 2023 Tenancy Fraud Report

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