The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has thanked the Cumbrian public for fighting back against insurance cheats.
The organisation has said that over 500 reports were made every month by people in the area who reported valuable information to the IFB’s Cheatline service. Cheatline, run by Crimestoppers, is a free telephone and online service which enables members of the public to anonymously report what they know about any type of insurance fraud. The IFB attributes the number of reports and the quality of the information to increased public awareness of the issue combined with the realisation that insurance fraud is not a victimless crime.
Ben Fletcher, the director of the IFB, said: “The number of reports to the Cheatline shows that the public shares our contempt for insurance fraud while indicating that this crime is a nation-wide problem. The Cheatline is a tool which enables members of the public to turn frustration they feel towards insurance cheats into safe, positive action.”
“Every Cheatline report is scrutinised by the IFB and the information we receive from the public complements the wide array of data from the police, insurance industry, regulators and other agencies that we have unique access to. This then enables us to develop substantial evidence packages which are used to support police investigations to jail insurance fraudsters.”
He added that one in five of the IFB’s investigations were run as a result of information gained from the public through Cheatline.
In 2014, reports to the Cheatline ranged from opportunistic fraud (59%), for instance where an individual has exaggerated a claim, through to reports from the public who are alerting the IFB to organised insurance fraud (41% of all reports).
71% of all Cheatline reports were related to motor insurance fraud and 18% were about ‘case for crash’ insurance fraud scams.