Man took images from a YouTube video to back up the claim
A spurious claim that a man cut his thumb on a steak knife at a Bradford Hotel was uncovered when images of the injury were found to be taken from YouTube.
Nasar Ali, 38, was sentenced to 8 months, suspended for 2 years, for fraud by false representation at Bradford Crown Court on Wednesday, having pleaded guilty in February this year.
The City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) was contacted in 2015 by Allianz when they received the claim made by Ali against the hotel. He claimed that, having ordered room service, it was delivered to him with the steak knife wrapped inside a napkin, and that he had subsequently cut his thumb on the knife.
Ali’s claim was immediately treated with suspicion as he refused to show the injury to the night manager at the time of the incident, and while his photos of the injury showed towels covered in blood, there was no evidence of blood when the night manager visited the room.
For the crime Ali also received 200 hours unpaid community work, a fine of £1,420 and a restraining order preventing him from returning to any premises insured by Allianz for the next 5 years.
Detective Chief Inspector, Andy Fyfe of the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department said: “Ali saw no problem with exaggerating a personal insurance claim and committing a crime to feed his own personal greed.
“On the night of the supposed accident, not only did he cause unnecessary inconvenience to the hotel staff, but he then went on to commit a crime.
“False insurance claims such as this one lead to increased overall costs to the public for their genuine insurance policies and drive-up the cost of hotels. As a result everyone is made to suffer by insurance fraudsters.
“The Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department is committed to working with the insurance industry to catch fraudsters like Ali and stop them from making money from these crimes.”
Ali, of Grandage Terrace, Bradford was staying at a hotel on 12, February 2015 when he called reception telling them he had cut his thumb on the knife. The porter returned to his room pulling back a makeshift bandage around his hand to reveal a small puncture wound to his thumb. The porter believed the amount of blood was excessive for the comparatively small injury.
On 21 February 2015, Ali sent an email to the hotel seeking compensation in which he described what had happened and attached photographs of a thumb injury. As a result, Allianz, the hotel’s insurer, became involved in the case. Ali then emailed Allianz on 15 March 2015 and stated he had lost £10,960 as he had not been able to work as a result of the injury. On 28 April 2015, Allianz examined the photos sent to them by Ali and discovered that the images had actually come from a YouTube video uploaded in January 2012. No money was paid out to Ali as a result of the claim.
Nick Kelsall, Allianz Insurance’s Fraud Manager added: “This case is an example of the extreme lengths that fraudsters will go to for their own financial gain. Our fraud team undergo rigorous training, which includes the use of new technologies, to detect fraudulent claims.
“Thanks to our sophisticated training and the excellent detective work of our handler, we were able to analyse the images and provide the police with unimpeachable evidence that they had been altered. This is becoming too common and people such as Ali are naïve to think that they can get away with this.”