Young drivers are being targeted by scammers in the online auto insurance industry. Here’s how to prevent being a victim of a ghost Broking. Watch Out for the Online Car Insurance Scam.
Extortion by “ghost broker,” who use social media to dupe motorists into buying fake insurance, is on the rise. You’ll be out of money and driving around illegally as a result of this activity. It can have major long-term implications, including a criminal record, in addition to costing you a lot of money.
However, “ghost broking” is a catch-all word for a variety of cybercrime schemes. So, what is ghost broking exactly? Who is the most vulnerable? What can you do to avoid being a victim of auto insurance fraud?
What Is Ghost Broking?
This scam may be carried out in three different methods, but they all involve the fraudster posing as a middleman between you and a vehicle insurance provider. As a result, your car will be left without sufficient insurance.
Two techniques entail the cybercriminal obtaining insurance in your name from a legitimate insurer. They may, however, enter false information in order to obtain low premiums for vehicles or drivers who would otherwise demand high rates. The documents can then be doctored to make them look genuine. It still implies the automobiles of the victims are underinsured.
They might even take out a legitimate insurance, but once you’ve paid for it, the scammer can cancel it and retain the money.
The third method is to create a bogus policy by forging documents and circumventing the insurance company.
You may be charged additional costs for utilizing brokerage services in all of these cases.
What are the dangers that victims face?
What are the ramifications of buying from a scam artist? It is up to local law enforcement to decide, but at the absolute least, victims will have to pay for adequate insurance again.
You may, however, face the following risks, depending on your jurisdiction:
A predetermined penalty for driving without insurance.
Theft of your vehicle
Points for your driver’s license
If you are involved in an accident, you are responsible for any repairs.
You will not only be a victim of fraud—-which is an unpleasant feeling—-but you will also lose a lot of money as a result of the scam.
Worse worse, you will not realize you are driving an illegal car until it is too late. Only when you try to make a claim or when the authorities stop you will you realize the truth.
Who is the most vulnerable to ghost broking?
Car insurance costs rise at an alarming rate every year, so it’s only natural that we look for a cheaper offer.
It’s no wonder, however, that people aged 17 to 24 are the most likely to fall victim to a con. After all, this is the group that insurers target the most. Companies believe that novice drivers are more likely to cause an accident. High costs from well-known insurers, on the other hand, push young people to look for lower rates from unknown brokers.
As a result, fraudsters post advertisements on student forums, Facebook markets, and messaging applications.
However, your age is unimportant. You might be a victim if you’re shopping for vehicle insurance.
Where to Look for Ghost Brokers
Keep a look out for common cybercriminal errors including poor spelling, grammar, & punctuation. You can’t, however, rely only on these. Ghost brokers are used to doing this and are less likely to make mistakes.
Your best friend is Google. Check for any web presence, including customer reviews, if you think you’ve located a terrific offer at a reliable firm. Because they might be falsified, don’t make your judgment based on just one source. Look them up on social media. Even if they don’t have a Facebook profile, if they’re a good company or have previously defrauded others, people will be talking about them.
And if a purported broker insists on payment by cash or bank transfer, ignore them. This is something no respectable company does. It’s a ruse.
Those guidelines apply to all purchases, but there are a few aspects of ghost broking that you should be aware of.
To begin, avoid any postings that only include basic contact information such as a location and name, along with claims of significant savings. This may seem self-evident, yet many people make this mistake while interacting with marketplace advertisements, forums, and WhatsApp. Learn how to recognize social media scam.
Some people will only connect with you over social media and will refuse to give you their phone number. Others will just provide you with a phone number or an email address, making it impossible for you to contact them.
Most significantly, if someone gives you insurance right away, it’s almost always a con. No insurance will do this since they require a great deal of data on you and your vehicle. What kind of vehicle do you drive? When did you obtain your driver’s license? What is your previous claim history?
What Should You Do If You Suspect It’s a Scam?
It’s probably not right if anything doesn’t seem right. Do not sign any documents or provide personal information (notably financial data). Similarly, don’t hand over cash, utilize monetary applications, or send a bank transfer to anybody.
You should double-check that the agent is a licensed insurance broker in your state.
If you live in the United States, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners can tell you, or at the very least provide you with contact information for the appropriate insurance department. Check with the Financial Conduct Authority or the British Insurance Brokers if you live in the United Kingdom.
Do not proceed with the so-called “transaction” if the broker is not mentioned. Instead, report them to the authorities in your area.
How to Know If You’re Insured
If you’re concerned that you’re driving an unlawful vehicle, check your insurance policy. You don’t want your automobile towed because you don’t have the proper documentation.
This is simple in the UK since you may utilize the Motor Insurance Database to input your car registration number.
However, it is not restricted on a national level in the United States, making it a little more challenging prospect. Some states have their own databases, so check with your local government.
Regardless, you should have your insurance paperwork or at the very least know who your insurer is. Inform them that you simply want to check on your situation. They won’t object if it’s a respected business; in fact, they should appreciate your research.
Don’t let yourself get taken on a ride
We’re sick of vehicle insurance scams, but ghost broking is becoming a more common kind of extortion.
Remember the old adage: if it appears too good to be true, it generally is. You’re want a good deal, not a miracle. Also, remember to remain skeptical: don’t be fooled by claims of huge reductions.
Even yet, it’s all too easy to fall for scammers, particularly ones that abound on popular applications like WhatsApp.