A man has been jailed for attempting to steal over £321,000 by selling 21 fake car insurance policies and making 18 fraudulent motor insurance claims for fictional car accidents.
Following an investigation by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), with support from the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) and multiple insurance companies, Abdul Hakim, 27, of Oldham, pleaded guilty to all charges of fraud by false representation and was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court to three years and eight months in prison.
Hakim enticed unsuspecting drivers with offers of cheap car insurance, when in reality the cover was fake. He offered discounted prices by altering the address on the policy to a location where the cost of an insurance policy is especially low, such as rural parts of the UK.
Once Hakim incepted the policies using the fake addresses, he would then alter them again with the victim’s actual address so they remained unaware that the policy was fake.
While his victim’s 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 more than £3,000 in the difference.
City of London Police Detective Constable 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.
"As well as the personal harm experienced by victims, ghost brokers like Hakim cause financial harm to the insurance industry, driving up the cost of insurance premiums for all motorists.
"Thanks to the information provided by the IFB and a number of insurance companies, the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department’s investigation has led to Hakim being sentenced to several years in prison. This should act as a firm warning to fraudsters that IFED will catch you and you will face the consequences."
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.
The IFB and insurance companies were suspicious of the claims and passed their information onto IFED. They identified they were fraudulent claims as they often involved people who didn’t exist, or people who did not live at the address provided at the time the policy was incepted.
In some instances, the vehicles included in the claim had in fact been involved in identical accidents and declared written off a long time before the fictional accident.
In total, Hakim’s 18 false insurance claims amounted to around £321,000, while the estimated loss with regards to the 21 fake policies from his ghost broking fraud is more than £21,000. On 13 March 2018, Hakim was arrested and subsequently charged.