Mortgage fraud cases investigated by the FBI almost doubled the past three years, reflecting a problem that is “pervasive and growing,” the bureau said in its annual compilation on financial crimes, reports the Associated Press. Mortgage fraud cases increased from 436 in 2003 to 818 in 2006. That likely represents a small piece of the problem. “The true level of mortgage fraud is largely unknown,” the FBI said.
The bureau said fighting mortgage fraud is a priority due to the impact of mortgage lending and housing on the broader economy. The mortgage fraud statistics were in the bureau’s 2006 “Financial Crimes Report to the Public,” which also summarizes the FBI’s actions against other types of financial frauds, such as corporate, securities, health care, insurance and mass marketing fraud.