Neighbourhood Watch - Previous Messages

3 July 2021 - Do You Know What A Ghost Broker is?


Just 15% of people have heard of a ‘ghost broker’.* Do you know what one is?


Have you ever heard of a ‘ghost broker’? No, we are not talking about things that go bump in the night – this is a lot scarier. ‘Ghost brokers’ are fraudsters who sell fake or invalid car insurance policies. Victims are sold fake insurance documents for a policy that does not exist, or for a genuine policy that has been set up using false details to lower the price of the premium.

How do ‘ghost brokers’ operate?
Fraudsters lure victims in with the offer of cheaper insurance premiums, usually via social media or by word-of-mouth. These individuals or groups pose as middlemen for well-known insurance companies, claiming they can offer you legitimate car insurance at a significantly cheaper price.

This type of fraud is typically carried out either by forging insurance documents, falsifying your details to bring the price down, or by taking out a genuine policy for you but cancelling it soon after.

Often, the victim is not aware that they have been scammed until they are involved in an accident and try to claim on the policy.

Who do ‘ghost brokers’ target?
‘Ghost brokers’ tend to target vulnerable communities, including members of non-English speaking communities who may not have full knowledge of UK insurance and laws, as well as young people looking for cheaper insurance deals.

Last year, Action Fraud received 694 reports of ‘ghost broking’, with almost a third (29%) coming from victims aged 17-29. The reported losses for these victims alone totalled £113,500, with each individual losing an average of £559.

Figures also indicate that over half (58%) of all reports in 2020 were submitted by men.

What could happen if I drive without valid insurance?
As policies sold by ‘ghost brokers’ are either invalid, non-existent or fraudulent, this means that the driver is technically uninsured, meaning that you could face:

  • £300 fixed penalty notice
  • Six points on driving licence
  • Vehicle being seized and crushed

How can I protect myself from ‘ghost brokers’?
There are simple steps that you can take to spot the signs of these scams and avoid being taking for a ride by ‘ghost brokers’:

  • ‘Ghost brokers’ often advertise and communicate via social media, online forums and messaging apps. If a broker is only using a mobile phone or email as a way of contact, this can be a sign of this type of crime. Fraudsters do not want to be traced after they have taken money from their victims.
  • They may also try to sell insurance policies through print adverts in pubs, clubs or bars, newsagents
  • If a deal seems too good to be true, then it probably is. If you are not sure about the broker, check on the Financial Conduct Authority or the British Insurance Brokers’ Association website for a list of all authorised insurance brokers. You can also contact the insurance company directly to verify the broker’s details. You can also check to see if a car appears to be insured on the Motor Insurance Database website.
  • If you think that you have been a victim of a ghost broker, you can report your concerns to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk or on 0300 123 2040.
  • You can also contact the Insurance Fraud Bureau via its confidential Cheatline on 0800 422 0421 or on the IFB website.

*According to a YouGov survey commissioned by the IFB

Message Sent By Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)


If you have any information requested, please contact us via 101 or 999 in an emergency

20 May 2021 - Say No To Fraud Campaign Launched 


Community Safety News


The Office of the Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner for Humberside has today launched a Fraud awareness campaign designed to assist you in how to spot the signs and avoid becoming a victim of Fraud.

In the Humberside Police area alone £13.8 million was stolen from 7471 victims between 2019-2020 and impact on a victim of fraud can be considerable from both a financial and wellbeing perspective.

The new campaign, Say No To Fraud, features the real stories of local victims of fraud and aims to reduce the number of victims by committing to increase knowledge of the types of fraud, the methods used by the criminals and advice on how to protect yourself and those you love from becoming a victim of these crimes. 

It is encouraging you to ‘Say NO to Fraud’.  That might mean closing the door on a person while you check their credentials, putting the phone down mid-conversation to ring your bank yourself, saying NO to anyone asking for money or bank details that you may have befriended online.  It may seem rude at first, but these are serious organised criminals who will be pretending to be someone or something they are not, they are ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ at your door, on the phone or online and it won’t matter if you offend them.  Genuine agencies will always understand and appreciate your caution.

You are also being asked to take 5 minutes to talk about fraud with people you care about.  Some victims of fraud are embarrassed and might find it embarrassing to tell anyone, because they feel they have been duped, victims often blame themselves for being ‘scammed’. This belittles Fraud which is a serious crime. It is never the victims fault, they have had their money stolen by unscrupulous criminals who will target those again and again using different methods. 

People need to stop feeling embarrassed about becoming victims and take back our right to say no to fraud! Close the door, press delete or hang up on these criminals.

More information can be found on social media #SayNoToFraud and online at www.saynotofraud.uk.

The new Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner has spoken about the campaign HERE.


Rural Safety & Crime Prevention Guide

 

A handy guide is available to read on line or download on the Crime Prevention Guides page

 

A copy of the Humber Resilience Forum's booklet Life is not always predictable - Let's Get Ready for the Unexpected is availble to download here.  Copies are also available at the village shop for anyone who does not have internet access. So, if you know of anyone who does not have internet access please let them know where they can get a copy or get one for them and pass it on.  Thank you for your co-operation with this.

 

Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to try and get their hands on your money and personal information. To date, Action Fraud has received reports from 2,378 victims of Coronavirus-related scams, with the total losses reaching over £7 million.

How you can protect yourself from Coronavirus-related scams:

There are some simple steps you can take that will protect you from the most common Coronavirus-related scams. Here’s what need to do:

1 - Watch out for scam messages
Your bank, or other official organisations, won’t ask you to share personal information over email or text. If you receive an email you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): report@phishing.gov.uk

2 - Shopping online
If you're making a purchase from a company or person you don't know and trust, carry out some research first, for example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, other payment providers may not provide the same protection.

3 - Unsolicited calls and browser pop-ups offering tech support
Never install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, as a result of a cold call. Remember, legitimate organisations would never contact you out of the blue to ask for financial details such as your PIN or full banking password.