’We invest heavily in anti-fraud capabilities and always take decisive action against potential scammers,’ says counter fraud director

Insurance broker 1st Central and law firm Keoghs have defeated an organised fraud ring that created contrived claims by posing as genuine policyholders.

The scam involved individuals reporting an at-fault accident supported by personal and sensitive data.

Claims would then be submitted from the driver and passengers in the third-party vehicle, which was alleged to have collided with the insured.

As the claims progressed, however, 1st Central identified several red flags, such as incidents occurring hundreds of miles from the customer’s address and involving claimants who also lived long distances from the accident location.

The broker also noticed that the same person was phoning to report different incidents.

“Identifying these suggested that an individual was posing as different people to perpetrate the scam,” 1st Central said.

Damages awarded

In collaboration with Keoghs, 1st Central issued proceedings in the tort of deceit to recover monies paid out because of the false claims.

Five claims proceeded to consecutive trials at Manchester County Court, where judgments were made in favour of 1st Central.

Damages awarded totalled over £140,000, including £60,000 in exemplary damages.

Paul Priestley, counter fraud director at 1st Central, said: “1st Central is committed to rooting out fraud and protecting our customers. False claims like this ultimately push up costs for everybody, with genuine, paying customers often suffering as a result.

“To keep our prices competitive and ensure that customers feel safe and valued with us, we invest heavily in anti-fraud capabilities and always take decisive action against potential scammers.”

Keoghs’ Sarah Moat added: “This is a fantastic achievement and resulted from excellent teamwork between Keoghs and 1st Central.

“We will continue to ensure that policyholders are protected from insurance fraud by working diligently to spot incidences of fraud and then use the full power of the courts to ensure fraudsters are brought to justice.”