Drivers across Warwickshire are being warned about fraudsters selling fake motor insurance policies over the internet or in person.
The warning has been issued by Detective Chief Inspector Paul Williamson, who leads the force’s cyber crime investigations.
Hundreds of motorists in various parts of the country have already been conned by the practice – known as “ghost broking”.
DCI Williamson wants people to be aware of the fraud and the possible consequences should they fall victim. He said: “This fraudulent practice has become known as ghost broking because the criminals behind it either fabricate insurance policies or buy insurance policies using fake information and sell them on for profit.
“Such policies are invalid which means the purchaser is driving without insurance and is liable to face the associated consequences. These include having their car seized by police, having to pay a fixed penalty notice of £300, picking up the bill for any damage they cause while driving without insurance and then having to pay again for valid insurance.”
‘Ghost brokers’ often target young men or new drivers who have to pay high premiums and there have been instances of fake policies being sold on university campuses.
“The nature of ghost broking means there are currently no firm statistics to indicate the true scale of this problem in England and Wales. However, a recent police investigation resulted in two ghost brokers being jailed for conning more than 600 people – most of them youngsters insuring their first car. They pocketed more than £500,000 from their victims in just 12 months.”