Beware of Fraudulent Claims Ads on Social Media

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has issued a warning to the public about the rise of fraudulent ads targeting insurance customers on social media.

What are Scammers Trying to Do?

Scammers are impersonating reputable insurers online. The aim is to trick policyholders who are in the process of making a claim into contacting these disreputable third parties instead of their actual insurance providers.

The scammers can then “hijack” the claim, leaving unsuspecting policyholders vulnerable to entrapment. They could get ensnared in legal agreements with fraudulent firms, making them obliged to cover significant costs.

How Do These Social Media Scams Work?

“Ad spoofing” relies on scammers using paid online advertising platforms. These allow businesses to create ads that show up when users search for certain terms – which can include company names.

Scammers are creating ads that resemble authentic adverts from authentic insurers. So when customers search for their insurer by name, they may see one of these fraudulent ads, instead of a real ad from their insurance provider.

The scam ads target customers who are in the process of making a claim. Clicking on the ad, users will be prompted to leave some personal details so as to receive certain support services. In doing so, scammers will “hijack” their claim, and the policyholder will unwittingly enter into an agreement with a third party, one which could end up costing them dearly.

Car Insurance Customers are Most at Risk

The IFB has advised that, while all insurance customers are vulnerable to this form of fraud, car insurance customers are most at risk. In particular, anyone who has recently been involved in a car accident, and who is in the process of making a claim.

Scammers know that those who have been involved in collisions can be stressed, anxious, or even disorientated. This means that they may be less attentive to the red flags that could indicate that an online ad is fraudulent.

Through these “spoof ads”, fraudsters attempt to mislead policyholders into believing that their comprehensive car insurance covers them for all services. The fraudulent third-party who’s impersonating your insurer will accrue thousands in fees. But who’ll be responsible for paying these fees?

If the other driver was not at fault in the collision, then the burden for paying these fees will fall on you as the policyholder. The misled policyholder will soon find themselves harassed by a number of third parties for these unsolicited fees. According to Aviva, one victim was faced with demands in excess of £50,000 from a third party claims firm.

How to Stay Safe From Spoof Ads

  • If you need to make a claim, contact your insurer directly using the contact details in your policy documents or on their website. Save your insurers claims number directly to your phone so you have the right number on hand should you need it.
  • Familiarise yourself with the terms of your policy. Make sure you know exactly what you’re covered for, and also take the time to understand the limits of your cover. This way, you may be able to spot fraudulent claims service offers.
  • Don’t click on any adverts or websites until you are sure that the link is genuine.
  • Be vigilant. It can be hard to keep your cool following a road accident. But remember that these scammers are out there, and don’t rush into anything that doesn’t feel quite right.

You can also report any suspected fraud you see online on the IFB’s website.

Why You Should Never Buy Car Insurance From Social Media

  • You can’t trust the companies. Buy insurance from an ad on social media or WhatsApp, and you may be buying from a fraudulent or unregulated company. There’s a risk your cover will not be valid and will get cancelled for fraud.
  • You may end up paying more. Unscrupulous and unregulated insurers may charge you certain fees that you don’t really need to pay. Or they may try and sell you cover and features that you don’t really need.
  • You will leave yourself vulnerable to fraud. It’s never a good idea to share your personal details with untrustworthy online companies. They could share your personal information with criminals, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft or other forms of cybercrime.

Only ever buy insurance from a reputable, regulated company you can trust.

If you are an Insure 2 Drive customer and need to report an incident, please contact our claims team on 0330 024 8048 or complete our claim form.


Get your online

quote today!


payment icons

Related Posts