Organised criminal gangs have been found to be setting up fake car insurance policies – some using innocent householders' addresses without their knowledge – simply to make fraudulent claims.
The amount of organised car insurance fraud jumped by 28 per cent in 2014 – reaching £38 million – as scammers continued to exploit “crash for cash” schemes, where they deliberately cause accidents and extort money from insurers for bogus personal injury claims, states insurer Aviva.
Fraudsters also purchased hundreds of policies, all based in the Norfolk city of Norwich, and using the addresses of unsuspecting members of the public, claims the insurance company. Aviva adds that within days of these policies coming into action it started to receive claims, reports the Press Association.
Our figures show that insurance fraud remains a significant and complex challenge, but the biggest threat to customers continues to be fraudulent motor claims.
The criminal ring in this case made a total of 157 bogus claims, believed to total in excess of £3 million. Last year alone, fraudulent claims worth £95 million were detected by Aviva – an average of 39 claims worth £260,000 each day. The company also rumbled 6,390 fraudulent car insurance applications, declining these to keep fraudsters off the road.
Tom Gardiner, head of fraud at Aviva, said, “Our figures show that insurance fraud remains a significant and complex challenge, but the biggest threat to customers continues to be fraudulent motor claims, which puts innocent motorists at risk of physical harm, while pushing up premiums for everyone.
“While genuine claimants have absolutely nothing to fear, our success challenging, defending and prosecuting fraudulent whiplash claims and organised fraud – even where it is not economic – sends a clear message that if you commit fraud against our customers, then it’s increasingly likely that we will catch you and prosecute you.”
Picture: Monkey Business