Hordes not bored at Fraud Awards

04/10/2013

At a star-sprinkled gala piss-up at London’s prestigious Brewery last night, the winners of this year’s Insurance Fraud Awards were announced to vast heaving throngs of mildly deranged revellers.

With, as the event’s organisers noted, “over 2600 new fraudulent claims being uncovered each week”, picking winners was never going to be easy.

Bankstone News, thankfully, was not there, and consequently has not the faintest idea who won (although, Bankstone honcho Vic Tysoe was present, so, theoretically, we could ask him – except that he’s probably slumped unconscious in a hotel room wardrobe somewhere in the Barbican vicinity, peacefully slumping off the after-effects of all that wild revelry).

In the meantime here’s our best guess as to who might have scooped those coveted awards.

Category: Best Insurance Fraud involving backing tapes

Winner: Danyal Bukharee of Putney

Post Magazine reported earlier this year that Mr B made over £5000 000 (sic) by duping unsuspecting punters into coughing up for non-existent cover. Read all about it here.

Category: Best use of Hacking in an Insurance Fraud

Joint Winners: Jimmy Edwards and Insure My Box

The judges were particularly impressed by Edwards’ highly original plan to insure hundreds of vehicles for mere pennies thanks to Insure My Box’s fraud-friendly payment systems. Read more here.

Category: Fraud Funded Lifestyle Award

Winners: Elina Jaksone and Gagik Kyriacos Manucharyan

Jaksone and Manucharyan deserve recognition for their outstanding contribution to ghostbroking and for underdeclaring income of just under £1m to HMRC. Read more here.

Category: The Crash for Cash Award

Winner: Mo Haque and friends

North London metal man Mohammed Samsul Haque is basically some kind of genius, a “criminal mastermind” who made £2m smashing up luxury motors for insurance cash. To find out more click here

Category: The Mass Fraud Award

Winner: 86 people in Wales

Whole bunch of ‘em, apparently. Find out more here.

Category: The Michael Bright Lifetime Achievement Award

Winner: Birmingham

The UK’s second city deserves recognition for topping the motor fraud league for a record four successive years. Learn more here.

If you would like to nominate someone for the 2013 Insurance Fraud Awards, send your suggestions to editor@bankstone-news.co.uk and we will be happy to forward them to the proper authorities.

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16/08/2013

Further evidence of the general dishonesty and untrustworthiness of the Great British public emerged this week as market research firm Consumer Intelligence revealed that one in twelve motorists is a self-confessed liar and a cheat when it comes to filling in their motor insurance application form.

It’s a wonder insurers can bring themselves to deal with this nation of liars at all.

On the plus side: Britain’s drivers may be dishonest, but at least they’re disarmingly open about it. Fully 8% of those interviewed by Consumer Intelligence blithely confessed to lying about where they lived (9%), where they parked their cars at night (16%), how many points they had on their licence, and – alarmingly – how far they drove each year (10%).*

The disturbing possibility remains, however, that, if one in twelve happily admit they lie to their insurers, the other eleven may be lying too – but are so shockingly dishonest (brace yourselves) that they even lie to market researchers!

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* Things are no better on the household insurance front, incidentally, where one in three consumers admitted to the heinous crime of “guessing the value of their contents” and a further 20% thought that they were “only accurate to within £5,000”.

Don’t expect to get any of those claims paid!

23/10/2009

In previous editions of Bankstone News we may inadvertently have suggested that crash for cash fraudsters were subtly devious schemers with a sublime genius for artful deception – or something like that. Anyway – sorry – turns out they’re not.

Not, at least if the latest high-profile perpetrator nabbed by the law is anything to go by. So subtle was fraudster Mohammed Patel that he staged the exact same accident (braking suddenly to provoke rear-end shunt) over and over again on the exact same roundabout (Stockport’s Eden Point on the A34) until workers in the office over the road grew suspicious and photographed Patel on the day he crashed twice inside an hour.

In 93 known incidents Patel conned £1.6m out of insurers – spending it on expensive cars and girlfriend – charging £500 a time to crash other people’s cars enabling them to claim for whiplash and other fictitious injuries. For every monkey Patel netted, insurers paid out an average £17,000 without apparently spotting Eden Point as a bit of a black spot.

Patel was handed a four and a half year sentence in a Manchester court this week and banned from driving for three and a half years. So no practicing your handbrake turns in the exercise for you, Mr Patel.

The Guardian reported one of his victims’ suspicions were aroused when he asked Mr Patel why he stopped so suddenly. Patel, clutching a piece of paper on which the “driver’s” details were neatly copied down, responded: “Didn’t you see the motorbike?”

“It was a bit comical,” his co-collisionist noted, “because the passenger and driver both got out of the car holding their necks and saying they were in pain. Most people know whiplash is not instantaneous.”


12/10/2009

What does it take to win one of Post Magazine’s much-coveted Insurance Fraud Awards? Ask Allianz – they just scooped the award for Insurer Fraud Investigation Team of the Year.

The award recognises a four-year investigation “Operation Genarch” which resulted in 33 people appearing in a Liverpool Court accused organising the UK’s biggest ever crash for cash scam, with 16 pleading guilty.

Allianz believe they saved themselves at least £1.2m by foiling the fraud. Its detection stems from an approach that encourages internal “market-intelligence” gathering on a broad front.

The original spark for Genarch (an obscure word meaning the head of a family, or more generally someone who rules by dint of age – bit like a gerontocrat, basically) came when a member of staff – somehow – noticed disproportionate number of motor claims in Merseyside back in 2005 when Liverpool won the Champions League (no connection implied).

Further investigations revealed certain similarities between the claims, and subsequently discrepancies between their details and the evidence. Working with police and solicitors, Allianz took the investigation on directly, rather than passing it on the Insurance Fraud Bureau.

Allianz claims director Graham Gibson said: “I am proud that we have received such a prestigious” (an obscure word meaning deceitful, full of tricks, not what it appears to be) “industry award and that Mihir Pandya and his team have been given the credit they richly deserve for their professionalism and commitment.”


09/10/2009

Shocking news from the land of cream teas, fudge and inappropriately sexualised confectionary-bar-toting lady rabbits: A car-cloning epidemic is sweeping South Devon.

In just the last few months police have recovered cloned vehicles worth £250,000. Mild mannered local lawmen believe criminals send in the clones from outside the Devon and Cornwall force area.

Car cloning, they explain, is achieved by giving the vehicle a false set of number plates, an illegal copy of the V5C document (log book) and a different Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

Vehicles ‘bought’ by the ten latest unsuspecting local victims include a VW Touareg worth £20,000 and a top-of-the range Ford Mondeo worth £15,000.

All 10 ‘purchasers’ have lost their money — and the vehicles have been returned to their real owners. PC Mark Humphries warned: “Anyone paying less than 70 per cent of the market price for a vehicle should be on their guard.

“Don’t pay cash,” he told the South Devon Herald Express, “particularly if the car is more than £3,000. Some cloners will take a bankers draft as part payment because the cash part is sufficient profit without ever cashing the bankers draft.”

“Don’t meet sellers in remote locations like car parks or service stations,” he warned. “If in doubt keep hold of your cash.”


09/10/2009

A judge has praised the six members of a West Yorks car cloning cartel who were recently jailed by Leeds Crown Court for providing new identities to stolen cars worth nearly half a million pounds.

Judge Scott Wolstenholme described them as intelligent and industrious young men, able to make a positive contribution to society. Their conspiracy, he noted, was well organised, professional and motivated by a real passion for high-value motor vehicles.

He nevertheless felt impelled to sentence the sextet to a total of 16 years for this “serious professional crime.”

Scotty said the slick sixsome, had taken advantage of the fact that the DVLA did not carry out physical checks on vehicles imported by private individuals. “The public is sick,” he said, “of car crime, resulting in the loss of cherished and valuable property.”

Chief conspirator Padala Satti Reddy, 26, got three years and seven months. His brother Padala Somi Reddy, 24, Reuben Browne, 24, and Naveed Akhtar, 31, each got three. Sundeep Matharu, 24, and Tahir Mahmood, 24, got just 21 months.

The close-knit group, all from the same small area of Bradford, obtained details of new cars sold to overseas buyers, then forged documents for stolen cars of similar make, model and colour suggesting they had been imported. The clones were registered with the DVLA and then sold on, used in insurance scams, or simply driven by members of the gang.

Seventeen vehicles including a BMW and two Range Rover Sports models had been cloned, while the gang had ten further identities read to use. Mark Pronger, the detective whose investigation nailed the gang, said the sentences reflected the professional nature and high value of the conspiracy.


10/09/2009

It is Bankstone News’ sober duty to report yet more evidence just in of rocketing levels of motor claims fraud.

Ordnance Survey – the UK body charged with working out the best places from which to fire cannons – have apparently interviewed exactly 74% of the UK’s leading Insurance Fraud Investigators – no idea why – and heard that fraudulent claims are showing not the slightest sign of leveling out following last year’s record levels.

Eighty per cent of investigators believe the situation will continue to get worse. Almost half report an increase in both the volume and in the monetary value of claims made.

Meanwhile 57% have seen a rise in the number of completely bogus claims made, and 54% an increase in inflated claims.

Corresponding percentages for increased reporting of other scam types were as follows:

Serial claimants 47%
Criminal gangs targeting insurers 42%
Criminal gangs targeting insurance policy holders 35%
Lying or withholding information on application forms 33%


25/06/2009

Latest statistics from the ABI show fraudulent insurance claims on the rise as the recession starts to bite.

An estimated 107,000 false claims last year (worth £730 million) constituted a 30% increase on 2007.

Household insurance fraud was most prevalent by volume, with 50,000 false claims during 2008, but motor insurance claims came out top by value ‚ totalling £360 million.

But the ABI has a warning for anyone thinking of topping up their spending money with a dodgy claim. “Insurers,” their representative body claims “are intensifying their crackdown on insurance cheats and the fraud that adds an extra £40 a year to the average premium.”

All right, we wrote this in a hurry! To read a previous, much longer and more entertaining story on the same topic, you could always try clicking here.


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