Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Beware of the Ghost Brokers

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Beware of the Ghost Brokers

Article excerpt

Byline: IAN MCNEAL ian.mcneil@trinitymirror.com @EveningGazette

A NEW insurance scam known as 'ghost broking' has sparked a warning to motorists A Midlands man has shared his painful tale about how got caught up in "ghost broking" in a bid to raise awareness, the Derby Telegraph reports.

Shafiq Ali was inundated with more than 120 insurance documents for policies he had not taken out.

Each letter sent to Mr Ali's home was addressed to a different person and contained the usual documents associated with a new car insurance policy.

But Churchill car insurance has now confirmed Mr Ali's home was used as part of the scam and has launched an investigation.

A spokeswoman for Churchill said: "Our counter-fraud team have investigated and Mr Ali appears to be the victim of ghost-broking, a serious crime which causes distress for those living at the addresses used to set up these fake policies."

Ghost broking is a serious business - and is reportedly targeting unwitting Brits in an attempt to swindle cash.

This is all you need to know: So just what is ghost broking? Ghost brokers are fraudsters who sell drivers apparently cheap motor insurance deals but issue policies that aren't worth the paper they're written on, says the Insurance Fraud Bureau.

They may use some of the drivers' correct details, but often falsify information, such as the address or age, to benefit from lower premiums.

Typically the scam works in one of two ways: Policies are bought from legitimate insurance companies using false information and then doctored before being sold on to customers. Fake policy documents designed to look like they have been issued by legitimate insurance companies are created and sold on to customers.

The consequences of buying a fake policy can be the same as having no policy at all: | Your car may be seized by police; |You'll pay a fixed penalty notice of PS300; |You'll have to buy valid insurance and pay at least PS150 to get your car back from the pound; |You could be liable for any damage you cause while driving without insurance, which could include compensation if you injure someone How to beat the fraudsters |Find a legitimate broker via the BIBA website and check that your insurance adviser is on the Financial Services Register; |Beware of buying insurance policies from unusual sources such as social networks, newsagents or bars and pubs; |Check your insurer is a Motor Insurers' Bureau (MIB) member; In Mr Ali's case, he did not buy a fake policy but his address appears to have been used by people operating a ghost-broking scam. …

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