Motorists in Sheffield have been warned to stay aware of insurance scams surrounding 'ghost brokers'.
Police in Sheffield revealed on Wednesday that they were forced to pull over a Skoda driver for driving without insurance.
However, when questioned the driver revealed that they thought they were insured but had paid their money to a 'broker' of 'questionable intention'.
The car was seized and police said the driver was now facing 'points and a fine'.
A similar incident took place in Derbyshire on Sunday, according to the Derby Telegraph, where a 37-year-old fell victim to a social media 'ghost broker'.
PC Andrew Swift, of the Somercotes and Riddings Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “The woman had paid £120 to a man she came across through Facebook, who assured her she would be insured to drive under a trader’s policy.
"In this instance, she received no documents or confirmation of the policy, and it turned out to be a con.
"While it might be very tempting to agree to what might seem like a bargain insurance policy, if it seems too good to be true then it probably is.”
Ghost broking is the name given to a fraud used by conmen who sell fake car insurance online, usually drawing people in with heavily discounted rates.
Insurance Fraud Bureau have warned that the scam can work in one of two ways.
- Policies are bought from legitimate insurance companies using false information and then doctored before being sold on to customers
- Fake policy documents designed to look like they have been issued by legitimate insurance companies are created and sold on to customers
Drivers who buy a fake police have been warned it can be the same as having no policy at all; meaning their can be seized and they could be fined £300.
They could also be liable for any damage caused while driving without insurance, including compensation if they injury someone.
Insurance Fraud Bureau have advised drivers to find a legitimate broker via the BIBA website and check that the insurance adviser is on the Financial Services Register.
Drivers should also beware of buying insurance policies from unusual sources such as social networks, newsagents, bars or pubs.
They should also check their insurer is a Motor Insurers' Bureau member.