’The nature of fraud is changing,’ says head of claims counter fraud

Organised fraudsters now appear to “cooperate” with the claims process to avoid triggering fraud checklists.

That was according to the latest fraud data analysis from Aviva and DAS Beachcroft’s Claims Solutions Group (DACB), which found that fraudsters were now mixing their modus operandi (MO), lowering claims values and providing early claims validation evidence.

“Whilst convincing on the surface, the ‘validation’ evidence is often manipulated, provided out of context or fabricated entirely to support their narrative,” DACB’s head of organised fraud and financial crime Natalie Randall said in a statement yesterday (20 July 2023).

“They historically raised suspicion by repeating the same MO multiple times, claiming excessive amounts without appropriate proof and deliberately obstructing the claims process”.

It came as DACB said it had concluded around 200 organised multi-claimant motor fraud claims on behalf of Aviva over the last 12 months.

A statement said this was done with a “renewed focus on quantitative and qualitative analysis of data” to determine new methods developed by fraudsters and strategies needed to defeat them.

The claims were spread across 47 separate organised fraud networks.

An average of £12,000 of fraud savings were made per claimant and 76% of all claims were fully or partially repudiated for reasons of fraud.

Investigation findings

In one investigation Aviva and DACB found that a claimant disclosed dashcam footage that had been snipped identically for 18 different claims concerning a series of accidents.

By snipping the footage, the evidence failed to show that the claimant deliberately sped up to induce the collision.

Another investigation, meanwhile, showed linked short-term policies fraudulently incepted to enable subsequent contrived claims to be pursued.

As part of the claim, the fraudster submitted a shallow-faked proof of identity and address documents.

A shallow-faked document is created by manipulating a genuine document or image.

“Securing claims validation evidence is no longer sufficient” when seeking out organised crime, said Dan Prince, head of motor fraud at DACB.

“In this tech-driven environment we have adopted the moto ‘validate the validation’, which is now crucial for identifying and investigating today’s organised fraudster.”

Pete Ward, head of claims counter fraud at Aviva, added: “The nature of fraud is changing and working with our key strategic partners allows us react quickly to emerging trends thereby protecting our genuine customers”.