Teenager convicted of insurance fraud
A teenager from Walsall has been jailed a year for selling fake motor insurance. An investigation by the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) found that 19-year-old Azeem Mahmood Hussain was selling false car insurance via adverts placed on the Gumtree website.
Detective Sergeant Matt Hussey, from the IFED said, ‘Hussain is one of the youngest ever people we’ve dealt with for insurance fraud and this was a crude attempt by him to make some fast cash from his bedroom. He was advertising cheap motor insurance deals on Gumtree and sadly he was able to con some people into thinking he was a genuine broker.
‘Gumtree has since removed the insurance category from its website so that unscrupulous individuals like Hussain are no longer able to operate on there.’
Hussain’s deception first came to light in July 2013 after a man who used Hussain’s service to insure his van was stopped by police in Northern Ireland. Checks on the vehicle revealed it was uninsured, although the driver insisted he’d paid £200 into a bank account for the policy in response to a Gumtree advert.
The case was eventually passed on to IFED, where officers made enquiries and identified the account as belonging to Hussain.
Later in the year another victim told Leicestershire Police he’d been defrauded of £1,000 after purchasing what he believed was genuine car insurance after seeing an advert on Gumtree.
A month later IFED officers searched Hussain’s address, seizing mobile phones, a laptop, bank statements and debit cards. Officers discovered forged documents on the laptop and the phones matched the numbers from the Gumtree adverts.
Messages found on the phones showed conversations about arranging motor insurance policies, asking various individuals for details such as names, dates of birth and addresses.
Detectives also matched the accounts into which the victims had paid money to statements, debit cards and cheque books found at Hussain’s address. Officers found over £14,000 had been paid into one of the accounts, with £2,250 into the other.
The majority of the forged certificates were made out to be policies from Allianz, although none were recognised by Allianz as genuine policies.
Sarah Mallaby, head of technical claims, Allianz Insurance said, ‘Scams such as these exploit members of the public and this significant sentence should send a message to potential ghost brokers that as an industry, we will fight against fraud every step of the way.’