The British pastor, Mike Hall, was shocked to learn that his house had suddenly got a new owner.
Neighbors noticed a lot of activity in the house one August day. They alerted Hall, who works in North Wales. He drove back to his home in Luton the next morning.
– I went to the front door and tried to unlock it, but it didn’t work. Then a man came and opened the door for me, Hall said BBC.
Mike Hall bought a house in Luton, 50 kilometers north of London, in 1990. By then he had finished his studies and had just started a new job.
Hall traveled a lot with his work, and had been renting the house for years. However, after the pandemic came, it was empty.
The neighbors warned that all the lights in the house were on, and there were more people there.
When the man opened the door for him the next day, Hall pushed him aside and went inside. Then he saw that the house was completely empty of furniture.
– Alt already up. They started dismantling the plaster walls, replacing the electrical system, and they started tearing down the kitchen and bathroom, the priest said.
The man says he is there to renovate the house.
– I said, “I haven’t sold the house. So far, it’s mine”, Hall said according to the British broadcaster.
– Go out
The priest then called the police and told them that someone had broken into his house. The carpenter left the house and returned with the father of the new owner.
– I bought a house in July. This is my property, out, is a message to the Hall.
The police came and checked the list of property registered as the owner of the house. That’s not Mike Hall, but a new buyer.
The police later said that this was a civil case that they and the lawyers had to solve on their own. Several questions gave the same answer from the police.
– I was in a state of shock after seeing a house like that. But being told by police they didn’t think any crime had taken place here was incredible, Hall said.
Ordered ID card
The house sold for 131,000 British pounds, about 1,500,000 kroner.
To sell a house, you need documentation that you are the owner. The scammer is said to have contacted the British auto inspectorate and ordered a driver’s license on Mike Hall’s behalf.
The Norwegian Motor Vehicle Inspectorate contacted Hall in April, to double-check that it was true that he had ordered another driver’s license. They suspect fraud.
Hall replied that he had not ordered another driver’s license, and the auto inspectorate said they would recall what they were about to ship.
But they didn’t.
The Norwegian Inspectorate of Motor Vehicles recently confirmed to the BBC that it sent in an additional driver’s license with Mike Hall’s face and information on it. The criminals just need to change the picture.
The BBC also discovered a bank account set up in Mike Hall’s name in April. There they saw a house sale come in, and then disappear again after two days in July.
Have lost home
Once the BBC contacts the police, the fraud department will start an investigation. The Norwegian Inspectorate of Motor Vehicles said they were taking the incident seriously and that they were cooperating with the police on the case.
But Mike Hall probably won’t get his house back.
If you are registered as a homeowner in the “HM Land Registry”, according to the Mapping Authority of Norway, it is yours. Regardless of whether someone buys property from a scammer, according to the regulations.
Hall could still receive compensation for the house if it was discovered that his identity was stolen and used to sell the house.
But the house has a new owner.
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