I want to make you aware of a scam which can both cost you money and leave you guilty of traffic offences.
In what’s known as “ghost broking”, fraudsters will pose as insurance companies, selling policies to cover your vehicle. However they are not real policies and if you were to take one out, you could find yourself in trouble.
These policies will not legitimately cover you and you will unfortunately be without valid motor insurance, which is a crime. Not only will you will liable for claims costs if involved in an accident but also:
- Receive points on your driving licence.
- Your vehicle could be seized and possibly destroyed.
- You could receive a fixed penalty notice.
- And have to pay the costs to retrieve an impounded vehicle.
According to ActionFraud, over the past three years, ghost brokers have taken more than £630,000 from people and businesses in this type of insurance scam.
You can avoid falling victim to these fraudsters by following the below tips:
If you have, or think you could have been a victim of ghost broking, get in touch with Surrey Police on 101 or to ActionFraud by calling 0300 123 2040. For more information on Ghost Broking, please click here for the City of London Police website.
- Be wary of how good the deal is - if an offer looks too good to be true, then it probably is.
- Ghost brokers often advertise on student websites or money-saving forums, university notice boards and marketplace websites. They may also try to sell insurance policies in pubs, clubs or bars, newsagents and car repair shops.
- Be wary of ghost brokers using only mobile phone or email as a way of contact. Ghost brokers have even been reported using messaging apps, including WhatsApp, Snapchat and Facebook. Fraudsters don’t want to be traced after they’ve taken your money.
- If you are not sure about the broker, check on the Financial Conduct Authority or the British Insurance Brokers’ Association website for a full list of all authorised insurance brokers.
- You can contact the insurance company directly to verify the broker’s details.
- Or you can check to see if your car is legitimately insured on the Motor Insurance Database website: ownvehicle.askmid.com
Updated: 12/02/2018 by Jay Butcher (Surrey Police, InTheKnow.Community Administrator, Corp Comms)