Monday, April 16, 2018

Car insurance 'ghost broker' jailed after fake policies scam

A ‘GHOST broker’ has been jailed after he was caught out making up more than £320,000 worth of car insurance policies, which he sold to unsuspecting drivers.

Abdul Hakim, 27, enticed dozens of drivers with cheap policies that he registered in low-cost rural areas — and then faked car accidents to make claims on their policies.

He made more than £3,000 from a single victim on the difference in price between what he paid for the policy and what he charged them — and also used his victim’s details to claim compensation from insurers from fictional road accidents.

So-called ‘ghost brokers’ often target young drivers by offering cheaper deals, but no insurance is ever put in place.

Motorists only discover they do not have cover when claims go unanswered.

Fraud investigators blasted the broker saying his scams increased the costs of car insurance after he was jailed for three years and eight months.

Hakim, of Oldham, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty to a string of frauds by false representation charges at Bradford Crown Court.

He admitted trying to steal more than £321,000 by selling 21 fake car insurance policies and making 18 fraudulent motor insurance claims for fictional car accidents.

Hakim was arrested on March 13 after fraud investigators spotted his victims did not live at the addresses given in his fake policies.

The Insurance Fraud Bureau and insurance companies raised the alarm after he made up road accidents for cars that were already written-off.

After the fraudster was jailed for three years and eight months, a spokesman for City of London Police said: ‘Once Hakim incepted the policies using the fake "low-value" addresses, he would then alter them again with the victim’s actual address so they remained unaware that the policy was fake.

‘While his victims thought they were getting a good deal, Hakim was stealing their money by incorporating a "finder’s fee" and also charging them hundreds or thousands more than what it had originally cost him to purchase the policy using the low-value address. In some instances, there was over £3,000 in the difference.

‘Hakim would search legitimate websites which advertised damaged vehicles for sale and use these vehicles to fabricate an accident that never happened.

‘With access to his victim’s online insurance account, he’d then contact the insurer, pretending to be the policy holder and provide details of the crash and accept fault for it.

‘Hakim would then go on to contact the same insurer, but this time posing as the other driver involved in the accident — either directly as them or their claims management company.

‘He’d provide identical details of the accident and make a claim for compensation.

‘To substantiate his false claims and generate as big a pay-out as possible, Hakim would provide falsified engineer reports, heavily inflated credit hire charges and fake evidence for personal injuries sustained during the accident.

‘On a few occasions, Hakim also called purporting to be from solicitors representing the claimant.’

Det Con Jamie Kirk, who led the investigation, said: ‘By selling fake car insurance, Hakim put these drivers at risk as they were completely unaware that they were driving illegally.’

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