Startling statistics from the ONS reveal that between April 2022 and March 2023, a staggering 21,149 insurance fraud offences were referred to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).
This number remains significantly higher than pre-COVID levels, which hovered at around 10,278 cases from April 2019 to March 2020.
Fraud ‘Too Trivial’ To Report
While the amount of fraud is concerning, we may not know the full extent of the problem due to underreporting.
Only 43% of fraud victims and 7.5% of cybercrime victims reported crimes between April 2022 and 2023. The most prevalent form of cybercrime is hacking social media, with 13,433 cases reported during the same period.
Some believe fraud is ‘too trivial’ or not worth reporting (18.9%), while others consider it a private matter or try to resolve it themselves (11.8%). A similar trend can be observed in cybercrime victims, with 38.7% thinking it is not worth reporting and 28.3% handling it privately.
‘Ghost’ Brokers On The Rise
It’s easy to see why people fall for traps set by insurance scammers online. Fraudsters use the very things most people lack to target them: time and money.
Everything seems too good to be true, from the incredibly low prices to lure their unsuspecting victims and the seemingly ‘comprehensive cover’ they manage to find to the ease of communicating with them on WhatsApp. And it is.
One of the most prevalent types of online insurance fraud is known as ‘ghost broking’. Ghost brokers are scammers masquerading as insurance brokers online to sell fake, invalid insurance policies.
This scammer often targets young drivers searching for cheaper insurance online via social media.
Consequently, after buying a ‘policy’ from a ghost broker, young motorists end up on the road without the legally required insurance and cannot claim in the event of an accident.
“We’ve noticed an unfortunate increase in ‘ghostbrokers’ online,” says Managing Director of One Sure Insurance, Chris Lear.
“The consequences of ghost broking are far-reaching. With motor insurance, victims of fraud are often unaware that they’re driving uninsured until the police stop them.
“While honest policyholders often bear the burden through increased premiums, making insurance less affordable for those who genuinely need it.”
Lear adds: “We can’t recommend enough the importance of reporting fraudulent activity as soon as possible. Your report may help prevent someone else from becoming a scammer’s next victim.”
Report Insurance Fraud
If you ever suspect you may have spotted an insurance scam online or suspect you’ve been sold a fraudulent policy, please don’t investigate it yourself.
Call us on 0800 912 0128, and we will be happy to assist you with any reports to the relevant authorities. We can also help to find you a genuine insurance policy at an affordable price so you can get covered as quickly as possible.
To report fraud, you can contact the following authorities:
0800 422 0421
0300 123 2040