Ghost Brokers Target Teens

A small avatar of a white male with blonde hair and beard wearing a white shirt and red tie beneath a blue jacket.
By Ben Scott
Marketing Manager
Ghost Brokers never disappeared, they just became more adept at hiding under the radar. Ghost Broking for those of you unfamiliar with the term, refers to an Insurance Fraud technique where criminals pose as a legitimate brokerage with the promise of unbelievably cheap rates, but the insurance is never provided.

How do Ghost Brokers do it?

“More than 850 cases were reported to Action Fraud between November 2014 and October 2017, totalling losses of £631,000 for those affected – an average of £769 per victim. Young people are particularly at risk because of the high premiums they pay in comparison to older drivers.” – Honest John

Teenagers and young drivers are most at risk.

The high premiums faced by teenagers and an awareness gap regarding insurance fraud leaves young drivers the most at risk of being duped by Ghost Brokers.

A recent YouGov survey for the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) showed that 33% of 18-24 year old’s had seen a suspicious car insurance advert on social media. This is important because data suggests Ghost Brokers utilise social media as their core focal point for finding victims, leading the The City of London Police to run an awareness campaign using the hashtag #SteerClearOfFraud in an attempt to hit the radar of the younger audience.

Students make easy targets for the criminals as they can approach them through University related Facebook and Instagram accounts, adverts, online marketplaces including Gumtree and Ebay, and even through cold calling, Snapchat or WhatsApp. Due to their commonly tight budgets and course related stress, students are typically more enticed by the allure of cheap and hassle free insurance and more likely to be taken advantage of by fraudsters looking to prey on their inexperience and impatience.

Wasted money is not the only cost.

Staying safe; avoiding Ghost Brokers.

Now that you are aware of the Ghost Broking and the risks that accompany it, you are better positioned to be vigilant and avoid being a victim to these criminals. There are a few easy ways to ensure you are not dealing with a fraudster when arranging your insurance. 

BIBA

Check if the Broker is registered with the British Insurance Brokers' Association.

MIB

Check if the Insurer is a member of the Motor Insurance Bureau.

FCA

Check if the Firm is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.

Other sensible ways to ensure you are dealing with a legitimate company include checking whether they have a website, a physical location, any reviews online and ensuring they do not only contact you via methods that could be terminated easily. Ghost Brokers do not want to hear from you after you discover they have defrauded you, so they often only use communication channels that can be blocked or shutdown easily.

Have you ever been the victim of fraud? Know anybody to has fallen for ghost broking? Do you think educating people is the best course of action to minimise impact? Let us know your thoughts below, or head on over to our social media accounts at @connect_insure on Twitter and @cibltd on Facebook.

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