Insurance staff are being watched by fraudsters as they leave their office the City of London Police has revealed.

In a statement today The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau  is warning employees about the consequences of passing on or selling customer data to third parties, which could lead to imprisonment.

The Bureau is also warning about approaches from fraudsters who want to get access to customer data.

Key points:

  • Criminals are targeting insurance staff in pubs
  • Staff are being watched and followed as they leave their office
  • IFED is investigating CMCs suspected of illegally obtaining customer data

It comes as the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) has received recent reports that criminals are targeting insurance staff in pubs, cafés or through social media in their bid to gain access to sensitive customer data and information.

IFED revealed that there have been occasions where insurance staff have been watched leaving their organisation and approached on the way to their car or to take public transport.

IFED detectives are also investigating claims management companies suspected of illegally obtaining customer data found evidence of this practice by more than one suspected criminal group.

Once the customer information is acquired, it is used to make nuisance calls to customers who are harassed and bullied by claims management companies.

In the past three weeks, IFED officers investigating four separate cases where claims management companies are suspected of bribing insurance workers in exchange for customer data have arrested or questioned five people, including two former employees of insurance companies.

To help minimise the chance of being targeted by criminals in this way, IFED is urging insurance staff to take the following steps:

  • Be careful talking about work in public places, such as pubs, cafés or on public transport
  • Try not to identify yourself as working in the insurance industry on social networking sites
  • Remove any identifying objects, such as lanyards, badges, company clothing, when leaving your office building
  • Make sure you’re aware of your employer’s policies around data handling

Anyone who is being approached or suspects that company data is being passed on to criminals must report it either to their line manager, through their company’s whistle-blowing procedure or direct to police on 101.

Alternatively, suspicious activity can also be reported to IFED’s confidential Cheatline on 0800 422 0421.

IFED head detective chief inspector Oliver Little said: “Insurance staff need to be mindful of this and think about how they can protect themselves from being targeted or what they should do if they are approached.”