22 people were targeted in an operation to clampdown on ‘opportunistic fraud’. Those targeted were suspected of making fraudulent injury and household or property claims
The attempted claims made by these people against the insurance industry is more than £165,000
A man, who claimed he’d suffered an injury at a shop but was recorded on CCTV deliberately falling to the floor and pulling boxes on top of himself, was amongst those targeted by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) in a nationwide operation aimed at suspected ‘opportunistic’ claimants.
Officers interview suspected fraudsters
Fifteen people were interviewed at police stations across England and Wales on 22nd, 23rd and 24th of May; with each person suspected of submitting fraudulent insurance claims in an effort to get compensation.
Eight people have been cautioned, and the remaining people have been released under investigation. In total, the attempted claims made by these people against the insurance industry is £165,110.
‘Opportunistic fraud’ can be committed on all type of insurance, though IFED’s days of action have focused on suspected fraudsters who have allegedly made false personal injury claims, such as ‘slip and trip’, and household or property claims, for example exaggerating the value of item(s) lost or stolen.
Cases referred to IFED
IFED received referrals involving these types of claims from more than 10 insurers, including 1ST CENTRAL INSURANCE, Admiral, Allianz, Aviva, Cigna, Co-op, Endsleigh, Esure, LV=, Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB), Royal Sun Alliance (RSA), QBE Insurance and Zurich.
In one of the cases, a woman admitted to lying about being in a taxi when it was involved in a collision. The taxi driver contradicted her claim and said she wasn’t in the vehicle at the time; and was actually their customer waiting for the taxi. IFED detectives also interviewed a woman who made a false claim worth £6,500 for a gold diamond ring, after she claimed it had been lost or stolen when she took it off to clean her hands in public toilet. However, routine enquiries made by the insurer revealed she’d made the same claim, for the same ring, three years earlier.
IFED officers will continue their investigations into the active cases and further details on their progress will be provided in due course.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fyfe, Head of the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, said:
“Opportunistic fraud' is not a victimless crime and these kind of fake claims are felt by everyone. Through these days of action, we want to clampdown on this type fraud and hammer home to fraudsters, or indeed anyone thinking of making a false claim, that IFED and the insurance industry won’t tolerate it.
Be in no doubt: if you make a fraudulent claim, we will investigate and you could end up with a criminal record, or even face time behind bars. On top of this, you’ll also face difficulty accessing financial products in the future, such as credit cards.
These kinds of claims create a ‘compensation culture’ in the UK, with some claims management companies encouraging people to make frivolous and exaggerated claims, often with the alluring offer of a ‘no win, no fee’ service.
These types of referrals show that some people have no qualms about making false claims. However, the vast majority of people are honest about their insurance claims and it must be infuriating to have to suffer financially as the result of someone else’s criminality and greed.”