An MP has warned motorists in to beware insurance fraudsters after a Bradford man was jailed.
Atique Khan, 33, devised a car insurance scam which targeted members of his own community and left them uninsured.
Khan, of Ewart Street, Queensbury, was jailed for a year at the Old Bailey yesterday for selling invalid car insurance to motorists in restaurants, internet cafes and by the roadside in Bradford – a practice known as ‘ghost broking.’ He posed as a broker and, between August and December 2011, convinced almost 50 drivers he could get them cheaper premiums, when in reality he was conning them out of money.
Khan obtained real insurance policies from 1st Central Insurance, but provided the insurer with false personal details and forged no claims bonus documents in order to get the premiums at a cheaper price.
He charged drivers more than the premium actually cost to buy from 1st Central originally, plus a handling fee. The insurance was immediately invalid.
The scam was exposed in January 2012 when 1st Central discovered all of the policies included identical e-mail addresses. The insurer referred the case to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, which identified that some of the policies were paid for with bank cards belonging to Khan, and he was arrested.
Detectives seized numerous insurance documents, £1,000 in cash, a computer, laptop, two iPads and several mobile phones.
A forensic examination of the electronic devices revealed forged no claims bonus documents.
Khan pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud by false representation, 14 of using a forged article and one of possessing criminal property.
Detective Sergeant Mark Forster, who led the investigation, said: “Khan devised a car insurance scam that saw him ruthlessly target members of his community to make thousands of pounds.”
Bradford East MP David Ward (Lib Dem) said: “The overall message is to be ever vigilant. There are a lot of people making a lot of money out of various scams and this is just one more for people to be aware of.”
Anyone who believes they have fallen victim to insurance fraud should contact Action Fraud.
Information on suspected ghost brokers can be reported confidentially through the Insurance Fraud Bureau’s Cheatline, powered by Crimestoppers, on 0800 422 0421.