May 15, 2020

Thousands targeted with scam insurance policies

ONLINE scammers are targeting thousands of Brits with fake insurance policies that offer cover at a heavily discounted rate. Motorists who take out the fake insurance could be left uncovered in an accident and potentially be hit with hefty fines.

Known as ghost brokers, these criminals offer drivers comprehensive policies at heavily discounted rates for a small fee. But instead of providing genuine cover, drivers are sent a fake certificate that doesn’t even exist

In other cases, a real policy is actually purchased, but some of their details are changed to lower the cost of insurance. In both situations, drivers will quickly realise their insurance is illegitimate when it comes time to make a claim.

Ghost brokers will also use another person’s details such as address, birth date and even name instead of the actual customer. These details can be accessed using the electoral register, while some scammers will buy data from other hackers.

Drivers are urged to do their research before committing to an insurance policy, no matter how cheap the cover is. Motorists should purchase their policy through an insurer’s direct website or a price comparison site.

Car insurance is a legal requirement in the UK to help protect you and any other road users.

If you’re caught without insurance, you can be hit with a £300 fine and six penalty points on your licence. In more extreme cases, you could be hit with an unlimited fine and disqualified from driving.

Jenny Ross, money editor at Which?, said: ‘Ghost-broking is an increasingly prevalent car insurance scam that can lead to serious consequences, including drivers being hit with fines, penalty points or even disqualification.

‘Fraudsters are using sophisticated tactics online to trick vulnerable customers into thinking that they’re buying a legitimate policy, when in fact it’s bogus.

‘Consumers should watch out for warning signs that the insurance may not be genuine, including suspiciously low prices, and always check that the provider is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.’