IFB wants whistle-blowing hotline to be publicised on ABI website

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) is to step up the publicity around its whistle-blowing phone line, Cheatline, in an effort to maximise the impact of the anti-fraud initiative.

The move comes a week after the ABI decided to drop plans for an industry funded advertising campaign aimed at tackling lower level fraud.

"We would like to see more prominence of the Cheatline number on the ABI website," said IFB deputy chairman Richard Davies. "We are striving to give it prominence in the national media, and so far it has generated a lot of interest."

The IFB wants the Cheatline number to be mentioned in press coverage relating to insurance fraud.

"We are seeing more insurers being pro-active in their management of fraud and making the right statement about the health and safety issues involved."

The IFB said it had seen a 133% rise in calls in the last year to the whistle-blowing hotline.

One call led to the investigation of a £740,000 crime in conjunction with the Insurance Fraud Investigators Group.

Meanwhile, the local authority equivalent, FraudLine, has also been linked to a reduction in the number of public liability (PL) and employers' liability (EL) claims being brought against local councils.

Local authorities saved an estimated £2.5m in EL and PL claims in 2006, a 15% slide in claims compared with the same period in 2005, according to research collated by the councils.

On a national level EL and PL claims are believed to have declined by an estimated 10%.

Currently, 345 local authorities subscribe to the FraudLine campaign across communities.

A further three London boroughs will join the movement against insurance fraud this month.