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Individual identity cards with unique numbering (carrying biometric or other unique genetic information) would have gone some way towards dealing with the identity problem. Other countries have them but don't squeal about invasion of privacy - a fallacious argument, particularly now that our personal data is now scattered worldwide with very little control (as the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica farrago demonstrates). Fraud regularly occurred even before paper title certificates were abolished; furthermore, the title register has been open since 1990 and that was a Government decision. The pressure nowadays is all for open data, transparency, and everything to be online (what is plan B?), so it's no wonder that fraud and cybercrime are rocketing. The stable door has been well and truly open, and the horses bolting round the paddock, for years.

As well as signing up to Land Registry's Property Alert service (which will flag up official searches as well as applications), remember that up to three addresses for service can go in the proprietorship register, including email and "care of" addresses. It might therefore be worth having one or two additional addresses for service (of family, or trusted friends, or your solicitor) as a precaution against unexpected transactions; where an application is notifiable, Land Registry would serve notice on those addresses as well as the main address for service.

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