Don’t Fall for ‘Ghost Broking’
February 10, 2014
The incidence of scammers selling bogus car insurance to motorists desperate to cut car motor policy costs continues to rise. The crooks, known as ‘ghost brokers’, pose as legitimate insurance intermediaries offering policies at a significantly reduced rate.
This unscrupulous practice is highly lucrative. Last October, two ghost brokers who had duped more than 600 UK drivers confessed to raking in more than £500,000 from their nefarious business practices.
Ghost brokers rely on three main tactics: creating a false policy by copying a genuine one; taking out a genuine policy but quickly cancelling it without telling the customer and pocketing the refund; or purchasing a legitimate policy but falsifying some of the information, such as driver age or vehicle, to pay lower premiums. A genuine policy that was purchased fraudulently is rendered invalid, meaning ghost broker victims are unknowingly driving without valid insurance.
Hoodwinked customers lose their money and risk a criminal record—if authorities believe you are in collusion with the scammer, you could be arrested for fraud. Therefore, if you suspect fraud, report it immediately. Only do business with reputable brokers. Find a list of every authorised UK insurance firm at the Motor Insurers’ Bureau website, www.mib.org.uk. Verify that your vehicle or someone else’s is covered by searching the Motor Insurance Database, located at www.askmid.com.