IFB welcomes guilty verdict

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has welcomed the guilty verdicts handed down yesterday at Manchester Crown Court to a group of fraudsters who staged ‘crash for cash’ insurance scams totalling over £1 million.

The fraudsters staged seven accidents in Chester over a 15-month period, targeting buses owned by First Bus. The scams involved the submission of over 200 false personal injury claims.

The IFB, an organisation which acts as a central data hub for the insurance industry and self-insured organisations to detect and disrupt organised motor fraud, supported First Bus and
Cheshire Police’s investigations into the series of suspicious bus accidents.

Commenting on the guilty verdict, Ben Fletcher, director of the IFB, said, ‘Today’s convictions rightfully reflect that the perception that insurance fraud is a victimless crime, and that insurers are somehow a ‘fair’ target is completely out-dated. The reality is that ‘crash for cash’ scams have a real impact on society by putting the lives of innocent people at risk and costing honest policy holders almost £400 million each year.

‘Fraudsters should be aware that the IFB works with the insurance industry, the police and organisations like First Bus to detect fraudsters and bring them to justice. The message is clear – if you are committing fraud the risk of being caught and prosecuted is very real. Insurance fraudsters face the prospect of heavy fines, a criminal record and imprisonment with potentially restricted access to financial services for the rest of their lives.’

Members of the public can play their role in fighting back against ‘crash for cash’ scams and other types of insurance fraud by reporting what they know to the IFB‟s Cheatline.

Fletcher continued, ‘Over 500 reports are made to the Cheatline every month and these reports show that the public shares our contempt for insurance fraud. The Cheatline is a free, anonymous service that helps us to identify fraudsters and bring them to justice.

‘If you have been asked to take part in a fake accident, or you know about insurance scams, or you have suspicions about the activities of others then please contact the Cheatline and tell us what you know in complete confidence.’