Drivers warned of rising car insurance fraud scams targeting most ‘vulnerable’ including the elderly

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80 per cent of drivers are unaware of online insurance scams

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Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia


Published: 29/05/2024

- 10:14

Drivers are being urged to be aware of fake websites and cold calling tactics used by scammers

Drivers have been warned of car insurance scams sweeping across the country as a growing number of motorists fall victim to fraud cases.

According to the Association of British Insurers, four out of five drivers have never heard of “ad spoofing”, a fraud tactic used to trick someone who has been in a road traffic accident into using a fake insurance website.


Despite more drivers being affected by scams, almost one-third (31 per cent) of people said they were unaware of online insurance fraud cases.

The research by the ABI detailed how 78 per cent of drivers were unaware of data farming, a method in which fraudsters will cold call people to encourage them to make false or exaggerated insurance claims.

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The ABI recorded 42,500 fraud car insurance cases last year

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The data follows a record-high number of insurance fraud cases found by the association last year at 42,500.

In one case, a fraudster was jailed for four years after cloning the identity of a claims management company to arrange insurance for elderly drivers, worth £26,000.

Worryingly, 90 per cent of drivers had not heard of “ghost broking” in which fraudsters use a range of tactics to sell fraudulent insurance policies.

Mark Allen, head of fraud and financial crime at the ABI, explained that at a time when household budgets are already being squeezed by the cost of living, “no one wants to get caught out by the scammers”.

From deals that look too good to be true, to “opportunistic” claims companies praying on the most vulnerable, Allen warned drivers to be alert and don’t fall foul of the fraudsters.

Ursula Jallow, director at the Insurance Fraud Bureau added that online insurance scams are widespread and are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

Jallow stated that it's important for drivers to remain cyber savvy and know the difference between a “real deal” and one that shows signs of something not being quite right.

She said: “This campaign is shining a spotlight on some of the most devastating scams out there, so we encourage everyone to follow ABI’s tips to avoid being targeted.

If anyone thinks they have seen an insurance scam they can report it to our confidential CheatLine."

Detective Chief Inspector Tom Hill, from the City of London Police's Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, detailed how falling victim to insurance fraud can have a "profoundly distressing” impact on drivers.

People who click on spoof adverts without realising it's a fraudulent site can end up losing thousands, Hill warned.

People who buy motor insurance from ghost brokers often find out too late that they bought a phoney car policy. Hill commented that insurance is a “safety net that so many of us use”.

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Drivers warned of ad spoofing', a fraud tactic used to trick someone into using a fake insurance website

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He said: “While IFED works with partners and social media companies to make it more difficult for fraudsters to operate online, by removing the websites and profiles used to target victims, we encourage everyone to learn how to protect themselves against insurance fraud.”

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