Action Fraud have recently received a number of reports from members of the public who have responded to written posts, pages, pictures and adverts on social media platforms offering varying types of insurance cover at desirable prices.
However, once money has been transferred to the fraudsters posing as insurance brokers, a number of consequences have been reported.
In some cases, contact has been severed with the victim altogether and there is no further communication. In other cases, insurance has initially been purchased on behalf of the victim only to be immediately cancelled with the insurer; this means that bogus insurance brokers can forward voided paperwork or email concerning insurance cover to the unsuspecting victim and pocket any refunded insurance fees.
The Devon and Cornwall police offered member of the public the following advice:
- Though many genuine insurers and insurance brokers operate on social media platforms they may also have their own websites and physical locations. It is good practice to conduct further research regarding any company offering insurance services, especially when the initial advert or contact is via social media.
- If an insurance broker claims to be accredited with a good practice organisation don’t just take their word for it, be sure to contact the respective organisation directly and check their database or make an enquiry. To check that your vehicle insurance is valid, contact the insurer directly to verify the details.
- Use the Financial Conduct Authority’s website (Register.fca.org.uk) to check if an insurance broker is authorised.