Fake car insurance fraud – Police launch second phase of campaign


New figures from the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) has revealed that 17-24 year olds are most likely to fall victim to fraudsters selling fake care insurance, also known as ‘ghost brokers’.

From November 2014 – July 2018, the majority of reports received by Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber crime centre, hosted by the City of London Police, have come from victims aged 17-24. The reported losses for these victims total £164, 993, with each individual losing on average £912.

Figures show that 17-24 year olds are 26% more likely to fall victim to ghost broking compared to 25-34 year olds and 197% more likely compared to 35-44 year olds.

On top of this, the figures reveal that 17-24 year olds have lost £47,935 more to ghost brokers compared to 25-34 year olds and £128,743 more compared to 35-44 year olds.

Ghost broking is the name given to a tactic used by fraudsters who sell fraudulent car insurance by a number of different methods. Further information about this type of fraud, including the various consequences and advice on how to spot the signs of a ghost broker, can be found on IFED’s dedicated ghost broking webpage.

To help raise awareness of ghost broking among this age group and reduce the number of those falling victim, IFED have launched a targeted national awareness campaign that starts on Monday 17th September 2018.  This is the second phase of their original ‘Steer Clear of Fraud’ campaign from February 2018.

Detective Superintendent Peter Ratcliffe of the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate, said:

“Falling victim to ghost broking can have a devastating effect on people’s lives, and this is especially the case for university students. It will impact them financially, at an important stage of their lives, and it could also affect their education and ability to travel.

“While offers of cheap car insurance may be tempting for students, purchasing car insurance through a ghost broker will end up costing you far more in the long run – both in terms of money and your licence.”

Detective Inspector Graeme Towndrow from Merseyside Police’s Economic Crime Team, said:

“Merseyside police are working with the City of London Police to promote awareness of ‘Ghost Brokers’. These fraudsters promise low premiums on policies such as car insurance and often target young people. We will be working with our communities, in particular the University’s within Liverpool to promote awareness. If you suspect a ghost broker or any fraud contact your local police force and report via Action Fraud.