Ghost broking is an evolving problem that has caused over 55,000 drivers to lose almost £2,000 on average. Ghost broking is an online scam that causes drivers to purchase insurance that they believe is genuine only to discover that it is, in fact, fake. The victims of these scams often discover ghost brokers on social media as they search for ways to save money during the current cost of living crisis. The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has said that ghost brokers are prevalent on social media and leave victims penniless and at risk of criminal charges.
What is a 'Ghost Broker'?
A ghost broker pretends to be an insurance broker on social media to sell fake car insurance. Usually, the ghost brokers will be found on social media accounts like TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to draw in their clients. In the IFB's latest investigation, they discovered over 55,000 fraudulent motor claims had been made in the past 12 months - over double the amount reported the previous year.
How ghost broking works
For ghost brokers to sell illegitimate policies, they firstly buy a legitimate policy using an older driver's information to produce a cheap policy that they will then doctor. They will then edit this policy with a fake company name, the person enquiring details and other areas, invalidating the insurance. If the police then catch you, you will be seen as driving without cover and face relevant repercussions. Driving without cover will land you a minimum fixed penalty of £300 and six points on your licence. If you are involved in an accident, you would need to cover the costs or damages to the other party. We recently had a learner who took their driving lessons in Milton Keynes with us who fell victim to one of these scams and has subsequently lost their licence due to receiving six points on their licence within the year.
Preventing ghost broking
The best way to prevent falling for a ghost broker scam is to make sure you use trusted comparison sights and check the British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA). Making these checks can save you from losing out on £2,000 and potentially your car and licence. We asked our grade-A driving instructor in London, Alec Matthews, how to prevent this: "when it comes to car insurance, it is better to be safe than sorry. "I suggest getting your insurance with a trusted broker you know is there for you. "If you have doubts about an insurance company, make sure you do your due diligence and be prepared to pay more than you expect, especially if you are a new driver."
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