Car insurance scam: ‘More people’ have been ‘deceived’ by fake agreements sold online

Car insurance scam: ‘More people’ have been ‘deceived’ by fake agreements sold online

03/31/2021

Insurance Fraud Bureau warns of ghost broking scams

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It comes as restrictions begin to ease in the UK, raising fears a similar resurgence could be targeting road users across all age groups. The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) and the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department have urged road users to not be caught out by fake policies.

They warn ghost brokers will promote unrealistically cheap car insurance agreements on social media channels and online adverts.

However, these agreements are often taken out with fake information meaning the policy is not personal to the driver and legitimate.

This means road users will not be covered for damage in the event of an accident and may even be fined for not traveling with legitimate insurance cover.

The IFB said they have recorded an 81 percent increase in new ghost broking investigations since 2015.

Stephen Dalton, Head of Intelligence and investigations at the IFB said “more people could get deceived” by the fake scam.

He has urged road users to make some “basic checks” when purchasing agreements and report any possible scams to the authorities as soon as possible.

Mr Dalton said: “As drivers get ready to return to the road from lockdown, it’s sadly possible more people could get deceived by unrealistically cheap and fake car insurance deals.

“It’s essential consumers make basic checks when buying car insurance, so they know it’s real and it won’t risk costing them their freedom to drive.

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“If anyone has seen evidence of insurance fraud, they should report it to our confidential Cheatline as soon as possible, and we can work with the authorities to stop the scam”.

The IFB said the surge in Ghost broking scams last year followed a surge in motorsports making Statutory Off Road Notifications (SORN) during the pandemic.

They say over half a million cars were SORN’d in the first four weeks of lockdown which meant insurance policies were cancelled.

The IFB says road users can easily check whether an insurance provider is likely to be genuine or false.

Legitimate sellers will be registered with the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) or be a member of the Motor insurance Bureau (MIB).

Drivers have also been urged to be wary of social media users contacting them about agreements as these are likely to be fake.

Motorists should also check any insurance advisers you use are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Data from the ITB revealed one in five people had seen a suspicious advert for car insurance on social media.

This rises to one on three among drivers aged between 18 to 24 years old. 

However, according to the IFB, only two-thirds of people said they wouldn’t check if a seller had a legitimate website before buying car insurance.

Meanwhile, 95 percent of British road users have not heard the term ghost broking and are unaware of the scam.

This means thousands of road users are likely to be caught out by ghost broking scams and be left with worthless agreements.

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