An elderly resident from the Staunton and Corse area contacted Gloucestershire Constabulary to make us aware of a series of letters they had received regarding a car insurance policy.
In the letters it told the resident that they needed to set up their direct debit as the bank had informed them that it had been cancelled. The letter had no heading only a couple of pictures of vehicles in the top right hand corner of the letter along with a policy number and a link which supposedly would take them onto their account details which in this case was linked to Hastings Direct.
Luckily in this case the resident was very organised and knew they never had an account with Hastings and rang them off a different number and explained the situation.
Hastings Direct confirmed that it was indeed fraudulent.
The policy created using the residents information was done so by what is known as a “Ghost Broker”
The insurance fraud bureau define Ghost Brokers as fraudsters who sell apparently cheap motor insurance deals but issue policies that are worthless.
They do this typically in two ways:
Policies are bought from legitimate companies using false information and then doctored before being sold onto customers.
Fake policy documents designed to look like they have been issued by legitimate insurance companies are created and sold onto customers.
The first scenario applied in this case and Hastings immediately cancelled the fake policy.
If you receive anything you are not sure about either by letter or email contact the company concerned using a different number to the one shown on the letter to confirm it is legitimate. If it is on email DO NOT click on any links as these could contain viruses which could steal personal information.
A useful website with information on identity fraud and impersonation is:
If you feel that you have been a victim of fraud you can call Action Fraud.
Specialist advisers are available by phone:
- Monday-Friday 8am-8pm
- Saturday - Closed
- Sunday - Closed
Reporting fraud and cyber crime
You can report fraud or cyber crime to Action Fraud any time of the day or night using our online fraud reporting tool. You can also report and get advice about fraud or cyber crime by calling 0300 123 2040.
The times above represent our core contact centre opening hours, although from time to time we do extend the service we provide to you.
Action Fraud will not call you unless you have requested us to, and will never ask for your bank details. If you are unsure whether a call is genuine, call the Action Fraud team on 0300 123 2040. Please note this number will be charged at your normal network rate.
Of course don’t hesitate to ring 101 and let the police know what has happened and one of our team will come and see you.
Stay safe as always
PCSO Pete Timmins