Revealed: Young people are top age group for being conned by Ghost Brokering Fraudsters
From January to August 2021, the national fraud and cyber-crime centre, Action Fraud, received a whopping 351 reports of ‘ghost broking.’
Young people continue to make the most reports for this type of fraud with over a third (34%) of reports coming from 17-29 year olds.
The reported losses to ‘ghost brokers’ for all age groups totals over £786k in 2021, with the average victim losing around £2,250*
‘Ghost broking’ refers to fraudsters who pretend to be legitimate Insurance Brokers in order to sell fraudulent car insurance. These types of scams have increased in recent years and typically take place over social media or through word of mouth and local businesses.
With the high cost of insurance premiums, fraudsters have spotted an opportunity in targeting young drivers, particularly students. Although the offer of a cheap insurance policy may be enticing, a fraudulent policy will end up costing drivers more in the long run.
We have put together some details regarding ‘ghost broking’ and what drivers should look out for when taking out car insurance policies:
How the scam works
Valid policies are taken out from legitimate insurance companies using false information and then doctored before being sold onto customers.
How to avoid being a victim of fraud
When taking out a car insurance policy, drivers can check that the seller has a legitimate website and an address. To avoid being scammed, drivers can also check that the broker, insurer or insurance advisor are registered through the following organisations:
- If taking out a policy through a broker, check that they’re registered with British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA)
- If taking a policy out directly through an insurer, check that they’re a member of Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB)
- Ensure that your Broker, Insurer and insurance advisor are authorised and regulated with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it often is. Go through all the necessary checks to ensure that you are getting a legitimate policy to avoid getting a criminal conviction and paying higher costs.
What are the consequences of driving without valid insurance?
- Cars may be seized and crushed by police.
- Drivers will pay a fixed penalty notice of £300.
- Drivers will have to take out valid insurance and pay at least £150 to get your car back from the pound.
- Drivers could face court where they might receive an unlimited fine and a driving ban. A criminal conviction could negatively impact job prospects.
- Drivers could be liable to cover the costs of any injuries or damage caused if they caused a collision while driving without insurance.