November 9, 2014

Anyone whose misfortune it has ever been to spend more than a few minutes in pointless Hampshire conurbation Andover will quickly have appreciated that this is not the kind of place where anything much happens. Off-duty soldiers come an go a bit. Men in white coats and rubber boots mill a bit of flour. Old folks mill about in coffee shops and charity shops. And that’s about it.

The closest the town has come to excitement in living memory is tracing the meteoric career of hometown soccer legend Nigel Spackman as it traced its flaming arc across the football firmament, and the time that bloke turned psycho and shot a bunch of people over in (vaguely) nearby Hungerford. Next to this place, towns like Swindon and Basingstoke seem exciting.

Imagine Bankstone News’ amazement, then, at learning that something had actually happened in Andover recently. Something, as it turns out, of a distinctly chilling nature. An Andover man, we learned this week, has been accused of being a ghost broker, haunting the town, and tricking people into giving him their money in return for phantom motor insurance policies.

The thirty-three year old set up a web site on which he creepily offered people a “personal touch” along with dirt cheap motor insurance. Crack City-based ‘fraud enforcement’ squad the FEDs stepped in, after equally crack national Fraud Bureau of Intelligence (FBI) had shut down the man’s dodgy “Personal Touch” website, and put him under a rest.

The FEDs suspect that up to 300 people may have been seduced into forking out for the ghostly one’s attractively priced, if frustratingly incorporeal, insurance policies.

“The consequences for motorists who fall victim” warned FEDs man DS Mark Fopster “can be dreadful.”

The technical name for the deception perpetrated by the Andover Ghost Broker, according to “local” paper the Southern Daily Echo is a “scame”.

Fascinating the things you can learn by making like a slack-faced blank-eyed bullock and simply “browsing” the internet.

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