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Barking man arrested as part of national crackdown on insurance fraud

Police recovered a car filled with hundreds of insurance certificates in various names (Credit: City of London Police)

Police have arrested a man from Barking as part of a nationwide crackdown on insurance fraud or ‘ghost broking’. 

The 44-year-old was detained on suspicion of fraud by false representation and money laundering last week. 

‘Ghost broking’ refers to the various methods used by criminals to sell fake car insurance, which often leaves victims unaware they do not have genuine cover. 

The suspect is thought to have posed as a middleman for insurance companies so he could offer to sell insurance at a significantly cheaper price to his unsuspecting victims.

According to police, fraudsters typically forge documents or falsify details to bring the price down or take out a genuine policy but cancel it soon after. 

The City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) executed ten warrants in London, Essex, West Yorkshire, Bristol, West Midlands, Derbyshire and Wales last week. 

They arrested seven people, including a 22-year-old man in East London on suspicion of fraud by false representation. 

Officers also seized over one hundred pieces of evidence, such as fake no-claims bonus discount forms, notebooks with handwritten details of victims and the associated fraudulent policies, and thousands of pounds worth of cash.

“This week of action has been a stark reminder of the immoral tactics that ‘ghost brokers’ use to defraud members of the public, including one man who used his family and friends to refer his illicit services to others,” said Detective Chief Inspector Edelle Michaels, head of IFED.

“It has also reinforced the fact that not all ‘ghost brokers’ look or act the same.

“We have seen people in their early twenties advertising fraudulent services via sophisticated social media campaigns, to forty-something year olds keeping track of their fraudulent policies through handwritten accounts.

“We even came across a car dealer using his knowledge of the motor industry and customer relationships to deceive clients into purchasing fraudulent policies.”

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