09/10/2013

27 Arrests Following Fake Car Insurance Investigation

Twenty-seven people have been arrested in dawn raids across the country by detectives investigating the sale of fake car insurance policies, a practice commonly known as 'ghost broking'.

Twenty-eight warrants were executed in the Leicestershire, London, Manchester, Thames Valley, West Midlands areas early this morning, in a police day of action that marks the culmination of months of investigation by the City of London Police's Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).

One hundred and sixty-eight officers took part in the operation, with the City of London Police unit supported by colleagues from the force’s Economic Crime Directorate as well as officers from Greater Manchester, Leicestershire, Metropolitan, Thames Valley and West Midlands police forces.

Ghost brokers often target young drivers by offering cheap deals but anyone who buys one of their policies will find themselves driving without insurance, which could lead to their car being seized by police, fines, penalties and a criminal record. Uninsured drivers will also have to pick up the bill for any damage or injuries they cause in a crash.

IFED has already brought to justice ghost brokers who have tried to sell or sold cheap fake car insurance policies online, using phony websites as well as genuine classifieds and social media websites. The unit has had reports of ghost brokers operating in communities, approaching people in restaurants and internet cafes as well as on university campuses.

DCI Dave Wood, Head of IFED, said: "This day of action reveals ghost broking to be a UK-wide problem which is being met by a national law enforcement response, led by IFED.

"The consequences for innocent motorists who fall victims to ghost brokers can be dire, so it is absolutely vital that drivers shopping for car insurance online, or through other means, question what they are being offered to ensure they get a real deal.

"Driver diligence, coupled with enforcement action being taken by IFED and supported by local forces, is the best way to confront this threat now and in the future."

(CD/IT)

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