Motorists warned over insurance scams – Daily Record

MOTORISTS are being urged to protect themselves from a rising tide of insurance fraud schemes.

The insurance industry has launched a national campaign – Stop the Scams – to help drivers spot signs of organised crime cons and report them to the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) Cheatline.

Figures show fraudulent insurance claims rose by five per cent in 2019, with motor swindles being the most common.

There are concerns the Covid-19 crisis and economic downturn could see this figure rise further, following the 2008 recession where fraudulent insurance claims soared by 17 per cent.

Currently, at least one insurance scam takes place every minute in the UK, leaving victims devastated and costing honest consumers more than £3billion each year.

To help protect the public and stop insurance scams rising, the IFB, Association of British Insurers (ABI) and police experts are launching the Stop the Scams social media offensive.

The campaign will highlight common swindles such as “ghost broker”, “crash for cash” and compensation rackets.

Ghost brokers are fraudsters who pose as insurance providers to sell unrealistically cheap and entirely fake car insurance deals on social media.

Particularly appealing to people struggling financially during the pandemic and cash-strapped youngsters, victims can be left facing court and having their car seized for driving without insurance.

Crash-for-cash crooks intentionally drive dangerously, forcing innocent motorists into accidents in order to claim for compensation.

Experts fear people whose driving skills are rusty after months off the road during lockdown will be particularly vulnerable – and could end up losing their no-claims bonuses.

Compensation scams see bogus outfits contacting people out of the blue to say they can help get them compensation following accidents.

Compensation scammers will call out of the blue – so don’t give any personal or financial information over the phone

Innocent victims then unwittingly hand over personal details that are used to steal their identities and bank funds. But there are steps motorists can take to avoid falling victim.

Sussing out registration with the likes of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association, Motor Insurers’ Bureau and Financial Conduct Authority can weed out ghost brokers.

Drivers should check the insurance seller has a legitimate website, UK phone number and address.

The best advice to avoid a “crash for cash” scenario on the road is to keep your distance and stay alert.

But if you are caught up in a collision, watch out for suspicious signs such as the other driver being unfazed, feigning unlikely injury or providing pre-written insurance details.

If you are contacted out of the blue about potential compensation, never provide personal or financial details and only make a claim through the legitimate insurance provider.

IFB director Ben Fletcher said: “With Covid-19 causing so many people to lose out financially, it sadly means there are more opportunities for insurance scammers to exploit the vulnerable.

“These fraudsters don’t care who suffers – from the elderly to key workers, we’ve seen them get targeted.

“It’s never been more important to raise public awareness of insurance fraud, which is why we’re launching the Stop the Scams campaign. If anyone sees something that doesn’t look right, they should report it to the IFB Cheatline.”

ABI fraud and financial crime manager Mark Allen warned of the long-term consequences of carrying out such crimes, including jail terms and the inability to get insurance, loans and mortgages in the future.

He added: “The industry makes no apology for its relentless pursuit of insurance cheats to protect genuine customers who end up footing the bill through their premiums.”

Motorists can call IFB’s confidential and anonymous Cheatline on 0800 422 0421 or go to www.insurancefraudbureau.org to report evidence of an insurance scam.

Source Article from https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/motoring/motorists-warned-over-insurance-scams-22770199

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *