Sunderland man arrested as part of fraudulent household insurance claims investigation

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A Sunderland man is among six people arrested by City of London Police as part of a nationwide clampdown on fraudulent household insurance claims.

The Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) have arrested six and interviewed a further 42 people this week.

Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime and costs every policy holder £50 each year.

Det Ch Insp Angie Rogers

Officers visited 26 police force areas as 43 officers targeted fraudulent insurance claims that cost every policy holder £50 in their annual premium in a three day national operation.

Of the cases targeted today the total claim made against the insurance industry if they had paid out the funds would have been £360,000.

The arrests and interviews were made across the country including in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Birmingham, London, Cumbria, Anglesey, Kent, Essex, Cardiff, Bristol and Brighton.

In a Sunderland case, a 43-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of Fraud by False Representation after making a £10k claim for a Tiffany ring lost whilst being taken to be polished.

The claim fell apart when it became apparent that the man’s ex-partner still had the ring and told the insurers this after noticing paperwork for the claim.

Frequently fraudsters are providing images of lost items taken after the items were alleged to have been stolen.

A 26-year-old woman was arrested in Rainhill, Merseyside, on suspicion of Fraud by False Representation after she made a claim for a wedding ring lost on February 23.

The evidence she supplied to back up her claim showed an image of the ring.

When the metadata on the image was checked it was found to have been taken on February 24, the day after the alleged loss.

Metadata can be used to identify the date an image is taken and also highlight what device took the image e.g. phone or tablet.

Other types of fraudulent claims include those were receipts and invoices are doctored and forged.

Det Ch Insp Angie Rogers, head of IFED, said: “Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime and costs every policy holder £50 each year.

“If people think they can get away with exaggerating or making false claims they should know that the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department have dealt with 1200 fraudsters since we began in 2011.

“Those caught making false claims will be dealt with, and were appropriate will be put in front of the courts and sent to jail.

Mark Allen, Fraud and Financial Crime Manager for the Association of British Insurers, said: “This concerted nationwide action led by IFED demonstrates how the insurance industry is determined to protect its honest policyholders by taking decisive action to identify and enforce against fraudsters.

“The risks associated with committing insurance fraud are simply not worth it. You’re now more likely than ever to get caught and suffer severe and long-lasting consequences.”