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IFB's Cheatline on pace for record year

12 August 2014

  • Previous record on track to be beaten
  • Intelligence playing a vital role helping insurers identify fraud savings
  • More than motor – c25% of reported fraud relates to household insurance claims.

2013 saw a record number of reports to the Insurance Fraud Bureau's (IFB's) Cheatline and 2014 looks set to beat that strong performance. With over 6000 reports of insurance fraud received from the public, the Cheatline played a key role in combatting fraud in 2013. At the halfway point in 2014 those figures are slightly ahead of the same period in 2013, which bodes well for the year.

The Cheatline averages around 500 reports each month from the public covering a wide range of fraud types, as Stephen Dalton, the IFB's Head of Intelligence, explains: "Although the IFB focuses on organised motor fraud, we take reports on any type of insurance fraud via the Cheatline. In fact, around a quarter of what we receive relates to household insurance fraud."

Between 2011 and 2013 the volume of reports to the Cheatline roughly doubled, for a number of reasons. "There’s a huge difference in public awareness; of the scams themselves, the Cheatline, the role of the IFB and partners like Crimestoppers and the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED). They've all played a part and there's a growing realisation that the idea of a victimless crime is nonsense."

The Cheatline is actively helping to prevent fraud. Cheatline reports are connected with 13 live Operations being managed by the IFB, all helping to identify fraudsters and work with police forces to bring them to justice. There's a strong commercial benefit too, with Cheatline intelligence helping direct insurers to suspect claims that need further investigation.

Matt Gilham, Head of Financial Crime at esure commented: "We work hard to integrate the management of IFB Cheatline into core intelligence handling procedures. Our experience shows that every year, Cheatline provides a material financial benefit where this information either aids an existing case or highlights a new claim or policy for investigation. Most recently, a Cheatline report helped target investigation on a suspect claim leading to a confession by the claimant and five figure fraud saving."

Despite this success, there's still scope for improvement. "We're always looking at ways of improving the quality of the reports we receive and converting more of these into alerts for insurers. We also need to do more to promote the Cheatline," says Dalton. "The more insurers and media promote the Cheatline the more people we can reach, and the better our chances of getting that nugget of information that stops a false claim or jails a fraudster."

Cheatline reports can be submitted by calling 0800 422 0421 or visiting www.insurancefraudbureau.org.

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