Warning to drivers of pretend auto insurance fraud – MyLondon

New drivers with shortages of funds are urged to watch out for fake car insurance offers advertised on social media.

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) issued the warning as thousands of learners prepare to pass their tests after more than a year of hiatus from the coronavirus pandemic.

Scams include ghost broking, where scammers pose as insurance brokers to sell unrealistically cheap and fake policies, often to younger drivers.

People could pay hundreds of pounds for what is really just a Photoshoped piece of paper, the IFB said. In some cases, scammers use stolen personal information to purchase policies, which are then forged before reselling.

When victims try to make claims, they realize that their policy is invalid and that they have no insurance coverage.

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If a collision is caused by the uninsured driver, he may be liable for the costs, which can amount to several thousand euros.

Even uninsured drivers can have their vehicle confiscated immediately and are expected to receive six license points. They can also be brought to justice, where they face an unlimited fine and a ban on driving.

A conviction of uninsured driving will show up on records and could hurt job prospects, the IFB warned.

Learner drivers in a driving school are usually covered by their driving instructor's insurance policy until they pass their exam and need to get auto insurance for their first car.

Stephen Dalton, IFB Director of Intelligence and Investigation, said, “The last thing new drivers need right now is the risk of losing their car without insurance because they were deceived by a social media scammer.

“Drivers need to do basic checks to make sure they are getting car insurance with a trusted provider or they are making a very costly mistake.

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"I encourage anyone who has seen evidence of insurance fraud to report it to the IFB's confidential cheatline online or on 0800 422 0421."

Mark Magee, Head of Driver Policy at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said, “In addition to making sure you have the skills, knowledge and understanding to drive safely, having valid insurance is paramount when You drive your own car.

"Check Insurance Brokers Are Real Before Parting Your Money."

Here are the IFB's tips to avoid fake auto insurance offers:

– Avoid offers on social media or messaging apps and only get car insurance through reputable sellers.

– If you are buying through an insurance broker, check that the seller is registered with the British Insurance Brokers ’Association (Biba).

– If you are buying directly through an insurer, you should appear as a registered member of the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB).

– It can also be checked that insurance advisers are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

– The IFB's cheatline can be reached online or by phone on 0800 422 0421.

You can find more stories from where you live at InYourArea.

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