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A man has been arrested in Nigeria over the attempted fraudulent sale of a home in Western Australia, in what is believed to be the first arrest of its kind by Australian authorities.
WA Police worked with Consumer Protection and a real estate agent over eight months to intercept the sale of the house in Falcon, south of Perth.
The owners of the home are based in South Africa.
Ntuen Promise Ekenmini, 27, was apprehended by Nigerian authorities yesterday when he went to collect documents using a fake drivers licence in the name of the real homeowner.
"They've been changing email addresses, telephone numbers, even to the point they've been threatening the agent when things have been delayed."
Police allege the attempted fraud began when a man contacted the property manager of a Mandurah real estate agency on 17 December 2012, pretending to be the owner of a home being managed by the agency and requesting documents relating to the rented property.
By conduction 1:1 biometric verification (selfie with passport) of seller identity a real-estate agent could have found out that seller is using fraudulent identity to sell someone’s home.
An agent could have also verified email address, mobile phone and identity documents of the real owners, together with copies of passports of the sellers through digital verification service.
We have replaced the old 100 point identity verifications with AI, and you no longer need certified copies of identity documentation.