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40% of notaries in Latvia have dealt with consequences of fraud

Photo: pixabay.com.
In the last two years, nearly 40% of notaries in Latvia have had cases in which their clients complained about fraud. Both Latvian Sworn Notaries Council and State Police admit that modern crimes continue changing, as does the profile of victims.

«While 10-15 years ago seniors and otherwise lonely people usually became victims of fraud, the situation has changed considerably since then. Even experienced businessmen and young people are at risk of becoming victims of fraud now. No one if safe from potential losses, especially if they do not consider possible risks and don’t to experts for advice.  I have to say that people’s general knowledge of legal matters remain weak,» says Latvian Sworn Notaries Council chairman Jānis Skrastiņš.

State Police also mention that the lack of knowledge and recklessness are two of the most common reasons for losses. «Fraud is a very common form of crime – it is used often to obtain movable and immovable property, finances, as well as use of a person’s private data. Unfortunately, it should be said the number of people who turn to police with complaints about fraud is quite large. Modern fraudsters have come up with refined schemes. They rely on people’s credulity to get what they want. This is why we invite people to be careful, consult with a notary and report any and all suspicious activities to the police,» said State Police Chief Ints Ķuzis.

While performing a study of different form of fraud, Latvian Sworn Notaries Council and State Police compiled a list of reasons in different groups. In 54% of cases involving fraud the reason was reckless behaviour in matters associated with one’s property. Fraud usually comes as a result of improperly compiled contracts and agreements containing conditions that limit the rights of one of the sides in an unfair way. In 43% of cases when people risk with their property the one to blame is usually the improperly picked advisor. «Often people consult with a neighbour, relative or friend, but not a professional. Often advice from such people is questionable. Advice based on personal experience is often limited to certain situations, because every case is unique. Because of that, documents often include conditions that create specific risks,» says Skrastiņš.

Latvian Sworn Notaries Council mentions that fraud often comes as a result of irresponsible actions with one’s money, transferring it to accounts of unknown persons. Other risks include disclosure of personal data. Use of unchecked information also presents certain risks, especially when starting a business. This often leads to unreasonable investments.

One of the safest ways to avoid making mistakes or fraud is consulting with a notary. This service will soon become available digitally in Latvia, as there are certain changes planned, the council says.


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