You are here: Home - Insurance - News -

Young people warned over ‘ghost broking’ car insurance scams

Written by:
Young people are most at risk of falling victim to ‘ghost broking’ car insurance scams, according to the City of London Police.

Ghost brokers are fraudsters who target cash-strapped drivers with fake car insurance often via social media.

Latest figures from Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber crime centre, reveal 17–29-year-olds remain the most likely age group to fall victim to this type of scam.

While the number of ghost broking reports fell by nearly a quarter year-on-year between January and August, more than a third (34 per cent) came from 17–29-year-olds.

Male drivers are mostly likely to tricked by ghost brokers. They accounted for more than half (61 per cent) of reports during the six-month period.

Of the reports made by 17–29-year-olds, more than half (62 per cent) were from men.

Victims have lost £786,700 in total to ghost brokers so far this year, with the average victim losing around £2,250.

Detective Chief Inspector Edelle Michaels, head of the city of London Police’s insurance fraud enforcement department (IFED), said: “The high cost of insurance premiums and money often being tight for students unfortunately make this group a prime target for ‘ghost brokers’, therefore it is important to check that you have signed up for a legitimate insurance policy.

“Whilst the offer of a cheap deal may be enticing, a fraudulent policy will end up costing you more in the long run in the form of a fine, points on your licence, your car being seized and crushed, and covering the cost of a valid policy.”

Ghost brokers typically scam victims by forging insurance documents, falsifying their details to bring the price down, or by taking out a genuine policy for them but cancelling it soon after.

Most victims do not realise that they do not have genuine cover until they are stopped by police or try to make a claim.

Ghost brokers often advertise on student websites or money-saving forums, university notice boards and marketplace websites such as Gumtree.

They may also try to sell insurance policies through adverts in pubs, clubs or bars, newsagents and car repair shops.

Students are advised to be wary of brokers using only mobile phone or email as a way of contact. Ghost brokers have been reported using messaging apps, including WhatsApp, Snapchat and Facebook. Fraudsters do not want to be traced after they have taken money from their victims.

If a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Rail strikes: Your travel and refund rights

Thousands of railway workers will strike across three days this week, grinding much of the transport system to...

How your monthly bills could rise as the base rate reaches 1.25%

The Bank of England has raised the base rate to 1.25% as predicted – the fifth consecutive rise in just six ...

Low-income pensioner? You could gain £3k top-up

Hundreds of thousands of retirees struggling with a low income are missing out on Pension Credit worth £3,300...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week