Toronto Police are searching for two suspects who allegedly sold a Toronto home without the owner's consent.

In a news release issued Thursday, police said that in January 2022, the owners of a Toronto home were out of the country on business. While the homeowners were away, a man and a woman allegedly used fake identification to impersonate them, hired a real estate agent, and listed the property for sale.

The home was sold -- at the time, prices were nearing all-time highs while mortgage rates remained low -- and the new owners took possession. The real homeowners didn't discover that their property had been sold until months later.

Police have described the case as a "mortgage fraud investigation," and have released photos of the suspects.

Real estate fraud 1

Real estate fraud 2

Paul Baron, President of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), told STOREYS that while a real estate brokerage has an obligation to perform their due diligence when taking on clients, realtors themselves can still fall victim to fraud.

"Resources are available to those who trade in real estate to assist with making their best efforts to verify the identity of homeowners, including use of the land registry service to verify the owner of the property and verifying the identities of individuals they are dealing with," Baron advises.

He also notes that "existing homeowners can also protect themselves through the use of title insurance" -- a type of insurance policy that protects both property owners and their lenders against any losses related to a property's title or ownership.

"The legal profession also plays a key role in this process since they handle the process of legally transferring ownership such as a property title, mortgage, or lien from one party to another," Baron said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7310. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers via 416-222-TIPS (8477) or