Insurance fraudsters duping driversGangs of so-called 'ghost brokers' are luring drivers into breaking the law by selling temptingly cheap insurance policies that turn out to be fraudulent or even completely non-existent. The fraudsters are targeting mainly young drivers, who typically have to pay more for their car insurance. Such young people are an ideal target for the criminals.
Gangs of so-called 'ghost brokers' are luring drivers into breaking the law by selling temptingly cheap insurance policies that turn out to be fraudulent or even completely non-existent. The fraudsters are targeting mainly young drivers, who typically have to pay more for their car insurance. Such young people are an ideal target for the criminals. They are typically less experienced in buying car insurance and they are more likely to visit listings sites like Gumtree, where the fraudsters advertise. They are also likely to be asked to pay steeper premiums than older drivers, due to their inexperience. These young people are often students with a low fixed income, who are desperate to save money. For these people, the promise of a cheap insurance policy can be just too hard to resist.
These ghost brokers often advertise on student websites and university notice boards in addition to listings sites. They often claim to be operating as middlemen for some of the large and well-known insurance brands. This type of insurance fraud is becoming big business and the AA says that its fraud team intercepts an average of 10 probable ghost broker frauds every day. In October, a police crackdown resulted in the arrest of 27 suspected fraudsters and a court jailed two men who had raked in £500,000 from the fraud.
In order to guard against the fraudsters, drivers should be aware of how the con operates. Ghost broking tends to work in one of three ways. The first, and most simple, is where the fraudster simply creates a false policy by copying documents from a legitimate company. Drivers can protect themselves by checking whether their car is actually insured on the motor insurance industry database, askMID.com.
A second type of scam involves the fraudster buying a genuine policy on behalf of the customer. The driver receives genuine policy documents and can check up on the askMID.com website that their car is insured but the fraudster then cancels the policy after one month and keeps the money for the whole year. A third type of con is where the fraudster obtains cheap insurance for the driver by falsifying information such as age or address. A thorough look at the documentation should uncover this fraud.
Generally speaking, if the deal seems too good to be true then it probably is. Suspicious drivers should check the askMID website and also contact the named insurer directly to check that all the details are valid. Before using any broker and parting with any cash, drivers can check if they are reputable by consulting the British Insurance Brokers Association (Biba)
Posted by Edwin Miles on