Have you heard the one about …..
The gardener who made several fake claims for alleged injuries to his knee and elbow – one after he said he had slipped on decking, another while tripping on stairs. Unfortunately for him his claims fell apart when social media posts showed him weightlifting and jet skiing despite claiming to be incapacitated by his injuries. He also claimed for tools stolen from his van, which was exposed when evidence he provided of the damage caused to his van was proved to have pre-dated the alleged theft by three months.
Then there was the man who made a fraudulent travel insurance claim of £13,000 for alleged medical costs for treating an ear injury while in Florida. Investigations showed that the hospital had no record of carrying out the treatment and when confronted, the fraudster tried to eat documents which had been forged to support his claim.
And the fraudster who claimed £30,000 for the theft of his luxury Aston Martin car, only for it to be discovered stored at a garage just a few hundred yards from where he worked.
How about the father and son who carried out five staged crash for cash road incidents, which could have netted them £35,000. Over two years they used various names, submitting fake vehicle engineer reports detailing the alleged damage.
Perhaps you read about the coach driver who made several fraudulent claims under his employer’s healthcare scheme for himself and family members, including non-existent overnight hospital stays. He also organised similar fake claims for work colleagues.
Finally, how about the ghost broker who was convicted of pocketing nearly £18,000 in a five-week spree of selling more than 40 bogus motor insurance policies.
All of them charged and convicted for their brazen acts of fraud, leaving them with nothing to show for their efforts except a criminal record!
In the face of the extraordinary demands of the pandemic, insurers continued to frustrate insurance cheats and safeguard honest customers. Research by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) shows that despite a fall in the overall number of insurance frauds detected in 2020, mainly due to fewer motor insurance claims, both the value of the average fraud and fraud detection rates increased on 2019.
Mark Allen, ABI’s Chief Fraud and Financial Crime Officer said: “Insurers adapted very quickly to the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, to protect and support their honest customers through the most difficult of times.
“However, the rise in fraud detection rates shows that, however difficult the circumstances, insurers will continue to do all they can to crack down on fraud to protect their honest customers. As ’the new normal’ kicks in, the industry will remain vigilant against the fraud threat.”
Ben Fletcher, Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), said: …… “thanks to the industry’s collaborative efforts insurance fraud has been prevented from rising as much as first predicted. Whilst we welcome this good news, we must not be complacent. The disruption caused by COVID means many people continue to face economic hardship which sadly provides fertile ground for fraud.
“Not only does insurance fraud push up everyone else’s premium costs, but some scams such as deliberately caused collisions can put innocent people at serious risk of harm. In these challenging times, it’s essential that the public continues to be vigilant and reports evidence of insurance scams to our confidential Cheatline, so we can work with the police to keep fraud down and protect consumers.”