Fraud specialists are warning students not to be caught out by so-called ‘Ghost Brokers’ selling fake car insurance.
New figures from Action Fraud show that motorists aged between 17 and 24 are more likely to be scammed by fraudsters than any other age group.
In the period between November 2014 and July 2018, Action Fraud received more complaints from young drivers than anyone else, losing an average of £912 to criminals.
And as the new university term starts, police are advising students to be wary of cheap car insurance deals they find online in case they turn out to be fake.
Ghost broking is a tactic used by criminals to sell fraudulent car insurance to unsuspecting motorists, leaving victims unknowingly uninsured.
Fraudsters may forge insurance details, provide false information to bring costs down, or cancel policies immediately and then claim the refund for themselves.
Students are targeted by these scams because their budgeted lifestyle means they’re tempted by insurance deals that seem too good to be true, which they often are.
Detective Superintendent Peter Radcliffe of the City of London Police’s economic crime directorate said: “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.”
If you’re a young driver who’s worried about being caught out by a Ghost Broker, the UK’s Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) provides advice on what to do.
Motorists should ensure that their broker is legitimate by checking whether they’re FCA-registered on the British Insurance Broker Association’s website.
They should also be wary of buying insurance policies from unusual sources, whether it’s via social media or through off-line channels in pubs, bars or newsagents.
Finally, if you’ve purchased a policy, you can check if your vehicle is insured and registered by using the Motor Insurance Database.
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