A worrying new car insurance scam has emerged in the UK, which is potentially leaving thousands of motorists driving unlawfully, without car insurance. The City of London police have warned all motorists to check their insurance policy after at least 800 drivers have been found driving with ‘fake insurance’.
People are being targeted in adverts on social media, money-saving forums and student websites. Adverts from the fraudsters have even been found in pubs, clubs, newsagents and car repair shops. Posing as legitimate brokers working for established household insurance companies, motorists have been contacted directly, offered a direct car insurance quote which would potentially save them hundreds of pounds on their car insurance renewal. After handing over hundreds and even thousands of pounds, the customer would be issued with a forged document. Other fraudsters would take out genuine policies on the customer’s behalf, cancel the policies and then claim the refunds as well as the money from the victims. One convicted fraudster was found to have set up a total of 133 fake insurance policies worth £90,000 with another nearly £60,000 being scammed before eventually being arrested.
The fake insurance policies are deemed worthless. Some unfortunate drivers have only found out about the scam when they were involved in a car accident. They have been left footing the entire bill which has run into thousands of pounds.
The rise of ‘ghost brokers’ has been in direct correlation with the steep increases of car insurance premiums. Britons are paying more than ever before for car insurance and this is being exploited by fraudsters actively targeting those people looking to for a Direct auto insurance quote which could save them money on their insurance premiums. Average premiums in the UK are expected to top £900 in 2018, leaving many drivers struggling to afford their vehicle. Fraudsters have been posting messages and even paying for Facebook ads. Cover is offered at tempting rates, sometimes for as low as £100.
Ghost brokers are the latest scam targeting car drivers. The so-called Cash-for-Crash is believed to cost £340 million a year. Scammers cause accidents to make fake insurance claims for car damage and whiplash injuries. The last few years has seen a massive growth in the cash-for-crash scams. These have been directly attributed to raising insurance premiums for car drivers across the country. Ghost brokers are now being targeted by the UK police in a concerted effort nationwide. Driving without valid car insurance is a crime which carries a hefty penalty.
Police are warning all customers looking for car insurance to be vigilant. People are advised to do your research. Remember, if an offer seems too good to be true, it most often is.