Drivers returning to the road urged to watch out for fake car insurance deals
29 March 2021
As millions of motorists get ready to return to the road from lockdown, the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) and City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFB) are urging the public to watch out for fake car insurance deals being advertised online.
Fraudsters known as ‘Ghost Brokers’ frequently promote unrealistically cheap car insurance on online ads and social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram. These fraudulent motor policies are either doctored or taken out with stolen information, leaving victims out of pocket and driving without insurance.
Data released today by Action Fraud indicates sales of fake car insurance doubled in July 2020 as restrictions eased from the first national lockdown and non-essential retail re-opened.
This ‘Ghost Broking’ activity followed a surge in motorists making Statutory-Off-Road-Notifications (SORNs) to stop using their vehicle and cancel their insurance, with over half a million applications made in the first four weeks of lockdown.
Stephen Dalton, Head of Intelligence and Investigations at the IFB, 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).
The IFB is working in partnership with insurers, police and industry watchdogs to fight organised insurance fraud, help keep people safe and bring consumer costs down.
Evidence of an insurance scam can be reported to the Cheatline (powered by Crimestoppers) on 0800 422 0421 or at www.insurancefraudbureau.org/cheatline.