‘Ghost’ brokers target motorists

2016-11-24 06:01

THE Telegraph reports that “ghost” insurance brokers, selling bogus policies, is the latest fraud to hit motorists, police have warned.

These ghost brokers work in a variety of ways. In one case, which led to the culprits being jailed, the fraud entailed setting up a bogus call centre. Customers were attracted by adverts on the Internet offering policies about 15% cheaper than those offered by legitimate companies.

Danyal Buckharee (42), and Giovanni Recchia (47), even used an iPod to recreate office noise as they worked from a “fraud factory” they operated from a flat in London.

Other fraudulent brokers may approach motorists in person at shopping centres to sell non-existent insurance policies.

Detective Sergeant Matt Hussey from the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, part of the City of London Police, said: “Hussain is one of the youngest we’ve dealt with for insurance fraud. He was advertising cheap insurance deals on Gumtree and sadly he was able to con some people into thinking he was a genuine broker.”

There is now a new twist on the scam in which the ghost broker takes out a policy at a false address. So motorists living in a high premium area such as London are offered insurance as if they lived in a sparsely populated part of the UK such as northern Scotland. City of London detectives have sent officers to Aberdeen, Inverness and the isles of Skye and Harris as part of their ongoing investigation into ghost brokers.

It is not only the address that is doctored, but also the driver’s age and previous claims history. In many cases the victims are unaware that their policy, which shows up as being in force on the askMID insurance industry database, is in reality invalid. Detectives are asking anyone living in remote parts of Scotland who receive mysterious post relating to car insurance to call the insurer’s fraud department.

A more well known insurance scam is “cash for crash”, in which motorists with valid policies are targeted by criminals who stage accidents to claim on insurance.

A variant is the “flash for cash” in which criminals - with the right of way - flash their headlights to encourage innocent drivers to keep going before ploughing into them. Criminals often look for elderly or lone women drivers as potential victims, along with operators of commercial vehicles. - Newspress.

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