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As a mortgage broker or agent, knowing how to identify fraud is the first step to protecting your customers and your business. As someone who frequently encounters fraudulent behaviour, level 2 mortgage agent of Rock Capital Mortgages, Samantha Power is familiar with recognizing the red flags when working with a new or existing client who is looking to commit mortgage fraud.

Samantha was able to share with us the many ways she completes her due diligence in her business in an effort to mitigate the risk of fraud, and the advice she has for fellow agents who are new to the industry.

Q: How long have you been a mortgage broker?

A: 9 years! Almost a decade!

Q: When looking at a file, what makes you want to dig deeper if you suspect attempted mortgage fraud?


  • Hesitation to answer questions.
  • Questioning and/or trying to get out of providing certain documents.
  • My favourite line: “My bank statements are none of the lender’s business.”
  • Clients who are rushed and needs things done immediately with quick closing dates.
  • When a client isn’t patient with the review of their application.
  • Adding of removing certain applicants or information from the file.
  • The client having access to an already completed appraisal that they’d like to use.
  • Lastly, my gut! I can peg someone pretty quickly by our initial phone call, whether or not they are someone I’m wanting to work with and if I feel I can trust them or not.

Q: Which documents do you look more closely at to detect fraud?

A: All income documents and bank statements.

Q: What other steps do you take to enhance your due diligence against fraud?

A: PurView – it gives me access to see who and what is registered on title etc. Also, simply, the internet. It’s my best friend. I’m a woman – I have expert creeping skills. But seriously, Google. I look up the business, I look on Google Maps to see if I can actually see the employment building, I’ll Google my clients names, and I’ll search social media for employers and all applicants on the mortgage. Google, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn!

I’ve even gone as far to drive out to properties to confirm the property is in fact a house when I’ve had a suspicion. I’ve called employers directly to verify, and always look at ID, more than one piece!

Q: Can you provide an example of a time that you experienced attempted mortgage fraud?

A: I’ve had more than one person reach out and flat out ask me to create documents for them. And recently, when a file where ALL income documents were made up, including bank statements! You couldn’t find the “businesses” anywhere online.

Q: Are there trends you’re noticing when it comes to attempted mortgage fraud?

A: I think the biggest trend I see would be inflated income… qualifying for a mortgage is SO hard – people are going to desperate measures to be able to qualify.

Q: Is there any advice you would give to new agents when it comes to navigating fraud?

A: Even when you feel defeated in this career, because the leads aren’t coming in or you’re losing clients to the bank, don’t ever jeopardize your career, ethics and morals, for a pay cheque! The fraudsters eventually get caught, their luck runs out and comes to a screeching halt. You don’t want your name and reputation dragged down and ruined. Sign on with a good brokerage, who supports, trains and mentors you! Go to as many industry events as you can. Fraud is sometimes a topic at these events, and you always learn something. And lastly, subscribe to PurView!

A big thank you to Samantha for sharing her wealth of knowledge about the steps fellow agents can take to ensure they are completing their due diligence. Knowing the signs of fraud is the fist step to protecting your clients, and yourself.

Learn more about how PurView can help you optimize your due diligence, and the PurView tool you can leverage to further validate the information you need to mitigate the risk of fraudulent activity.

Click here to stay connected with Samantha through her social channels!