One Call Insurance’s in-house Fraud Team successfully detected and foiled an elaborate scam, which if undetected, could have seen those who orchestrated the crime pocket in excess of £100,000.
In June 2017, One Call was initially presented with a nondescript claim and one that could easily have fooled even the most discerning of claims handlers. Involved was a convincing, but bogus third-party solicitor, complete with professional letterheads & a credible automated phone system. However, after a thorough investigation, One Call Insurance discovered it was dealing with a group of fraudsters; the criminals had stolen someone’s identity and set up no fewer than 10 individual car insurance policies.
Analysis into the automotive engineer’s report highlighted some unusual discrepancies, such as the presence of snow in images that had supposedly been taken in June, an address in Nottingham, despite the inspection postcode listed as Wigan and unusual wording, amongst many other factors.
Michael Bellamy, One Call Counter Fraud and Advanced Verification Investigator explains, ‘I enquired with the company who allegedly inspected the vehicle, and this confirmed my suspicions. They advised me that the report had been falsified, and the signature and credentials used belonged to a legitimate automotive engineer, however, one that had retired the previous year.’
The final piece of the puzzle fell into place when conversations were had with a company that previously insured the vehicle. They advised that the vehicle had been sold six days after the alleged accident, and on the date of the claim, the vehicle was in fact located at a storage yard in Gloucester.
Although it has not been possible for One Call to identify the perpetrators, the police were informed and subsequently launched an investigation which remains ongoing.
The initial claim totalled £50,000; however, if claims had been presented to any other person or damages to the fictitious policy holder’s vehicle, the belief is that the total value would have reached at least £100,000.