Car insurance scam: Experts warn there are more opportunities to ‘exploit the vulnerable’

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Car insurance experts warn that a range of road users have suffered at the hands of fraudsters including the elderly and key workers. The comnets come after recent data shows fraudulent insurance claims rose by five percent in 2019.

However, experts have warned scams could shoot up to levels last seen in 2008 where the recession saw fraudulent claims rise by 17 percent.

The Insurance Fraud Bureau warns that at least one insurance scam takes place every minute in the UK.

Ben Fletcher, Director of the IFB warned the pandemic was seen as an opportunity by fraudsters to target a range of road users.

Mr 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 suffer – from the elderly to key workers, we’ve seen them get targeted.”

The IFB warns that car insurance scams usually target road users in three different ways.

Simple compensation scams send emails or text messages to road users claiming to offer a refund on part of an agreement.

Drivers may be tricked into handing out their personal details which can be used to steal their identity to hack their bank account.

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However, as the UK plunges into a recession and many drivers struggling financially as a result of the pandemic, this could cloud many road users’ judgement when they receive an email offering money.

Ghost Broker scams have doubled in recent years and are more popular among young road users.

This is where fraudsters pose as a provider and offer cheap deals to vulnerable motorists on social media.

However, these policies are then found to be false which effectively leaves drivers without an agreement in place which would be breaking the law.

IFB chiefs also warn drivers to keep an eye out for crash for cash scammers who purposely hit your vehicle to make claims against your policy.

Experts warn that one in every ten injury claims is linked to crash for cash scams despite the safety risks.

Detective SuperIntendent Peter Ratcliffe, Head of the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Funded Units urged members of the public to help identify suspect behavior.

He said: “Fraudsters will use any opportunity to try and steal money from the public, including the exploitation of tragic events such as the current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

“We work effectively with the IFB, ABI and insurers to tackle insurance fraud, and our unit has continued the fight against criminals, despite the challenges posed by coronavirus.

“Our industry partners provide us with valuable intelligence to help us identify suspected fraudsters and carry out this enforcement activity, but we also rely on information from the public.

“As such, it’s vital people report to IFB’s Cheatline when they have information about a suspected insurance fraud or fraudster.”

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