Seventeen per cent of suspected insurance fraudsters have committed fraud in other industry

Access to the UK’s largest cross-industry fraud database has helped law firm Hill Dickinson close in on a complex fraud ring.

Hill Dickinson became the first law firm to gain access to the CIFAS national fraud database in August, and can search on behalf of other member insurers.

In the first six months, it searched for information on 3,017 suspected insurance fraudsters, and found that 524 (17%) of them had committed fraud in other sectors.

In a current investigation, Hill Dickinson linked 17 car crash claimants who claimed not to know each other after the CIFAS database revealed they had used each other’s addresses and personal details for fraudulent credit card and vehicle finance applications. Between them, the insurers stand to avoid fraudulent claims of £615,000.

Hill Dickinson head of intelligence Chris Hallett said: “It’s been said anecdotally, but this is the first evidence that people committing fraud in one area are more than happy to commit fraud in another.”

Once it has found a match, Hill Dickinson can approach the company that entered the information about the fraud into the database for more information.

This has helped it find people who used the same fake documents on mortgage and credit card applications to take out insurance policies.

While many insurers have access to the national fraud database, they mainly use it for screening policy applicants rather than investigating claims, Hallett said. “Our approach shows a definite benefit of searching at the claims stage.”