At Insurance Time’s first Fraud Charter roundtable of the year, held virtually, delegates pointed out that opportunistic fraud has risen, for example via scams such as door knocking 

There has been an increase in opportunistic fraudulent claims during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking during Insurance Times’s first Fraud Charter roundtable of the year earlier this week, Fleur Lewis, GoCompare’s head of fraud, said: “We have an excess protection product in line with our sales that we offer to our customers and we have seen an increase in fraudulent claims being detected with the use of that policy.”

Lewis also gave the example of door knocking fraud scams - where perpetrators even went as far as to wear GoCompare branded jumpers - as well as reports of fraudulent text messages allegedly from GoCompare doing the rounds, designed to trick victims out of money and sensitive information.

Lewis explained that the fake text would acknowledge that the victim had searched for a quote on GoCompare and that they then had to call the supplied phone number, which was not actually connected in any way to GoCompare and its operations.

Donna Scully, director of Carpenters Group and Fraud Charter co-chair, explained that the door knocking scam offered what seemed like support to residents who were lonely during the coronavirus crisis. Therefore,  those who are elderly or vulnerable are more susceptible to this type of attack.

Victims of impersonation

Lewis added that GoCompare has also seen a rise in victim impersonation claims, particularly around home insurance products.

Meanwhile, Stephen Dalton, the Insurance Fraud Bureau’s head of intelligence and investigations, added: “We are now doing the quarterly strategic threat assessment.

”It is not something that has been remarked [upon] or raised as a significant issue, but there are still concerns around the Google ad spoofing. We will be doing a bit more on that.

”It’s something that has been raised at a policy level in terms of looking at the upcoming Online Harms Bill, to see whether any sort of actions can be taken there.”

Speaking about data phishing and its ability to enable claims farming, Dalton referred to Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) statistics on accident claims calls, which have been averaging at around 20%. This, he said, was a problem throughout summer 2020.

“It’s tailed off tremendously in January, February this year, [from] averaging 22% to 23%, down to 6% for January and 6% for February,” he pointed out.