Finance

Warning for drivers over fake insurance ads that could leave you with NO cover


A FRESH warning has been issued for drivers over fake insurance ads that could leave you without cover.

The phenomenon, known as ‘ghost broking‘, sees scammers trick unsuspecting drivers into falsely believing they and their cars are insured.

Most drivers don't know they have been targeted until it's too late

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Most drivers don’t know they have been targeted until it’s too lateCredit: Getty

The con been labelled a “nasty kind of fraud“, offering car insurance that either doesn’t exist or isn’t accurately processed.

Fake brokers forge paperwork at a reduced price for motorists who think they are getting a good deal.

Victims lost £1,950 on average last year with insurers collectively reported more than 21,000 policies that could be connected to the scam.

Some 517 cases of ghost broking – with losses totalling £1 million – were reported to Action Fraud in 2021.

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Social media sites are overwhelmed with the bogus companies – and often their eye-catching ads are designed so well, people don’t know they’ve been fooled until it’s too late.

In the worst cases, people affected could be at risk for driving uninsured or liable for fraud themselves.

Often young drivers, who have the highest premium costs, and people who don’t speak English are the most targeted.

Analysis by Which? showed social media was rife with ghost brokers and plenty of profiles that appeared to be run by scammers.

Within the first 50 pages on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok that returned results for ‘cheap car insurance’, Which? found 47 profiles which matched their search criteria.

Of those, more than half appeared to be offering quotes or cover to UK drivers, while showing no signs of being authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

One Instagram profile with nearly 50,000 followers claimed to save customers “up to 50 per cent on their premium” as well as “speeding ticket removal”.

Which? flagged these to Instagram, and both have since been taken down. 

‘FRAUDULENT CONTENT’

On Facebook, seven pages of the 50 profiles were dubious. On video-sharing site TikTok, two of the 50 profiles analysed were suspect.

Jenny Ross, Which? money editor, said ghost brokers were taking advantage of people who were trying to do the right thing.

She said: “Ghost broking is a really nasty kind of fraud, where scammers operate by stealth and typically take advantage of those who feel locked out of, or bewildered by, the car insurance market.

“Social media sites must do much more to crack down on car insurance scammers that are infiltrating their sites and harming consumers, and should address these problems now, ahead of the Online Safety Bill becoming law.

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“The Online Safety Bill should require platforms to tackle this type of fraudulent content.

“The government must ensure this happens by amending the Bill so that its definition of fraud does not allow some scammers to slip through the net and guaranteeing Ofcom is ready to enforce these new laws when they come into force.”





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