Great Britain

You could be driving without car insurance after thousands of fake policies sold online

THOUSANDS of drivers could be unknowingly driving without car insurance after taking out a policy with fake providers.

Brits who fall for the scam could be left uncovered in a car accident and even be hit with hefty fines.

A recent investigation by Direct Line has revealed online scammers are targeting drivers with comprehensive policies at heavily discounted rates.

The fake policies typically appear online through social media posts and internet search engines.

Drivers will be sent a forged certificate of insurance upon taking out their cover to trick them into thinking it's genuine.

In other instances, scammers will falsify the driver's details to get cheaper cover or pay for a genuine policy using monthly repayments to obtain a certificate before cancelling the policy.

More than 2,300 cases of car insurance fraud were investigated last year, with victims losing an average of £1,209.

One of the UK's largest insurers Aviva detected over 3,000 car insurance applications with links to illegitimate policies, while Direct Line assisted in the closure of 500 fake adverts in the last six months.

Drivers are urged to do their research before committing to an insurance policy, no matter how cheap the cover is.

Motorists should purchase their policy through an insurer's direct website or a price comparison site.

Car insurance is a legal requirement in the UK to help protect you and any other road users.

If you're caught without insurance, you can be hit with a £300 fine and six penalty points on your licence.

In more extreme cases, you could be hit with an unlimited fine and disqualified from driving.

Steve Barrett, head of motor insurance at Direct Line, said: "Social media platforms are being targeted by these scam artists, and it is important we continue to work together to protect consumers from being misled into buying a worthless car insurance policy.

"Consumers need to be aware when responding to adverts and profiles that appear ‘too good to be true’ on social media, as they could find themselves a victim of fraud, losing money and potentially facing criminal charges.

"Whilst insurers are doing all they can to spot these fake accounts to protect honest policyholders, drivers may only find out they have been scammed when they come to make a claim or if pulled over for a random police check."

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