Behind bars – fighting fraud together

Ghost Broking

Our claims and fraud teams come together to tackle fraudsters head on – from ghost broking to being caught on camera.

What’s a Ghost broker? ‘Ghost brokers’ are fraudulent individuals or groups who mislead and profit from consumers that buy their fake insurance policies. False information is often provided by the ‘broker’, which means drivers are not legally covered by the insurance and are therefore driving without insurance. Not having valid motor insurance can not only result in heavy court fines and your vehicle being seized, but can also result in a criminal record for those who take out the policy.

A recent ‘Ghost broker’ was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment, suspended for two years at the Old Bailey after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud.

The ‘Ghost broker’ persuaded his friends and acquaintances that he could get cheap motor insurance, although he was never authorized to act as an Insurance Broker. Charging £80-£100, he took out policies on their behalf, using false information to secure a lower premium.

He continued with the fraudulent activity by inventing accidents and then claiming for injuries following the supposed collision, many of which involved some of the vehicles he’d helped to get insured. The good news is – none of the personal injury claims were paid out, however investigators confirmed the claims investigated totalled £39,000 worth of attempted injury claims.

The case was flagged to IFED officers after intelligence analysts at the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) identified a number of suspected fraudulent motor insurance claims against more than 20 different insurers that all had links back to him.

One of the staged accidents on a misrepresented policy was held by us and our team members from Claims Crime Prevention and Underwriting gave statements to assist with the prosecution.

We continue to work closely with the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) to pursue the strongest possible convictions for all fraudulent activities, and urge people to do their research and make sure they’re taking out policies from reputable organisations.

Smile, you’re on camera!

Back in November 2015, a carer falsely claimed he was injured in a car accident, linked to a collision in a car park in Slough.

An investigation was carried out by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department when we contacted them about a suspected fraudulent claim. The collision involved a woman and another parked car – we we’re then notified of the claim for damage to the vehicle. However, the other driver – a man in his 50s – then went on to submit a personal injury claim, stating that he’d received injuries to his neck, back and arm as a result of the collision and was seeking up to £5,000 in compensation.

But the woman went back to the store where she had parked and asked to see the CCTV – it clearly showed the other driver getting out of his car and standing next to it at the time she had reversed into it. The footage was passed to us and an investigation was carried out by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department when we contacted them about a suspected fraudulent claim.

After being shown the CCTV footage the man admitted to making the whole thing up and received a police caution for submitting a fraudulent insurance claim.

Clare Lunn, Head of Claims Crime Prevention said: “This Individual believed that he could make a claim for compensation when he had not suffered a genuine injury. At LV= we take a hard line on fraud and will investigate all suspicious claims, pushing for the toughest sentences for those who are prosecuted, in order to protect our honest customers.

“Claimants need to understand that fraud is not a victim-less crime and can result in serious consequences to themselves. No matter how tempting the financial reward appears they should not be fooled into making false claims. We hope this sends a clear message to other have-a-go fraudsters.”

Categories: Commercial Lines, Personal Lines

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