Drivers urged to beware of this post-lockdown insurance scam
Online con artists targeting vulnerable drivers with cheap insurance offers
Data released by Action Fraud shows sales of fake car insurance doubled in July 2020 as restrictions eased from the first national lockdown and there are fears this pattern could now be repeated.
As drivers get back on the road, so-called ghost brokers are using online platforms and social media to offer amazingly cheap insurance deals, preying on vulnerable victims such as newly qualified drivers who regularly face huge premiums.
Unfortunately for the victims these deals really are too good to be true and will leave them uninsured and out of pocket.
The scammers claim to act as a broker to arrange cheap car insurance on behalf of their victim. They then either don’t take out a policy, take out a policy using fake details or take out a policy then cancel it. In every case the victim is left with faked or worthless insurance documents. They are also left at risk of a fine and prosecution for driving without valid insurance.
Stephen Dalton, head of intelligence and investigations at the Insurance Fraud Bureau, 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. 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.”
“There are easy ways for consumers to check if a car insurance deal is genuine. If buying through an insurance broker consumers can check the seller is registered with the British Insurance brokers’ Association (BIBA). If buying directly through an insurer they should appear as a registered member of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). Checks can also be made to see Insurance Advisors are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Evidence of an insurance scam can be reported to the Cheatline (powered by Crimestoppers) on 0800 422 0421 or via the IFB Cheatline.