Partnership leads to fraud crackdown

Fraudulent motor industry claims have been hit by a new working partnership agreed between the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The two bodies signed up to an intelligence-sharing agreement this month and will work together to tackle all varieties of motor fraud.

Cash for cash figures released this month suggest that some criminals are already moving away from the motor industry, but the partnership will also look to crack down on those responsible for nuisance calls and spam messages.

ICO recently issued a £200,000 fine to Swansea-based Help Direct UK Ltd for sending out thousands of unsolicited spam text messages, while the Claims Management Regulator (CMR) issued a £850,000 fine to a Lancashire-based company for making millions of cold calls.

Stephen Dalton, head of intelligence at the IFB, said: “We know that organised insurance fraud is changing and fraudsters are moving into other types of scams. We as an industry recognise that more needs to be done to combat these activities, which has led to the IFB working more closely with the ICO in recent months to tackle this increasing problem.

‘Over the last six months the IFB has been meeting regularly with the ICO to share data and intelligence to identify fraudsters.

‘This new agreement will formalise that existing arrangement and strengthen the excellent partnership that the IFB and ICO have been building over the last six months.

‘Intelligence Sharing Agreements (ISA) form part of IFB’s long term approach and we hope to sign more agreements in the future with other key organisations and regulators.’

Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the ICO, said, ‘As the UK’s independent regulator we take action against companies who try and market services illegally via nuisance calls and texts. We are also concerned about the unlawful trade in personal data.

‘During our investigations we often see problems beyond our area of regulation. This agreement and others like it enable us to pass on information for organisations to take further action.’