Did you give your lawyer or estate agent Power of Attorney?

Official document to be signed.

Sign here!

One of the scams sometimes used by unscrupulous people, acting as an agent in some form or other, is to persuade someone (the Principal) to give them unlimited Power of Attorney. Simply put, once the Principal signs these documents then the Agent can act as if they were that person. They can then legally transfer all that person’s assets to themselves or to anyone they wish.

This scam is sometimes perpetrated by relatives of an infirm person in order to empty their bank account and generally rip them off. Unfortunately the victim is often too old and incapable of realising what is happening to them. Now, in the case of those buying property in North Cyprus the same excuse cannot be used, naiveté might be a better excuse. Along with a sales contract, which turned out to be  useless, you might have been given Power of Attorney documents to sign. The reasoning was simple, you’ll be away for a lot of the time so it would be better to have us act in your stead.

Once the house purchase is complete it makes sense to ask for the Power of Attorney documents back AND to send a letter revoking these powers. It is not unknown for the Agent or Lawyer to say that the documents have been destroyed when in fact they are stored away in a filing cabinet awaiting for who knows what. Oh, and was the document only in Turkish, it gets worse doesn’t it? As lawyers don’t seem to have a duty of care here and as it is almost unknown for a lawyer to be prosecuted for fraud, I wouldn’t hang around and leave action until tomorrow would you?

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