AN OLDHAM man has been jailed for attempting to steal more than £321,000 by selling fake car insurance policies and making 18 fraudulent claims for fictional car accidents.

Abdul Hakim, 27, of Thorney Hill Close, pleaded guilty at Bradford Crown Court to all charges of fraud by false representation and was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison.

Hakim acted as a ghost broker and enticed unsuspecting drivers with offers of cheap car insurance, when in reality the cover was fake.

He offered discounted prices by altering the address on the policy to a location where the cost of an insurance policy is especially low, such as rural parts of the UK.

Once Hakim incepted the policies using the fake ‘low-value’ addresses, he would then alter them again with the victim’s actual address so they remained unaware that the policy was fake.

While his victims thought they were getting a good deal, Hakim was stealing their money by incorporating a ‘finder’s fee’ and also charging them hundreds or thousands more than what it had originally cost him to purchase the policy using the low-value address. In some instances, there was more than £3,000 in the difference.

The hearing followed an investigation by the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), with support from the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) and multiple insurance companies.

In September 2015, the IFB referred to IFED several motor insurance claims collected from multiple insurers, who had identified them as being fraudulent.

There were also some referrals directly from insurers. From these referrals, IFED carried out further investigations into Hakim and discovered that he’d been making false motor insurance claims using the details of his ghost broking victims.

Hakim would search legitimate websites which advertised damaged vehicles for sale and use these vehicles to fabricate an accident that never happened.

With access to his victim’s online insurance account, he’d then contact the insurer, pretending to be the policy holder and provide details of the crash and accept fault for it.

Hakim would then go onto contact the same insurer, but this time posing as the other driver involved in the accident – either directly as them or their claims management company. He’d provide identical details of the accident and make a claim for compensation.

To substantiate his false claims and generate as big a pay-out as possible, Hakim would provide falsified engineer reports, heavily inflated credit hire charges and fake evidence for personal injuries sustained during the accident.

On a few occasions, Hakim also called purporting to be from solicitors representing the claimant.

City of London Police detective constable Jamie Kirk, who led the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department's investigation, said: “By selling fake car insurance, Hakim put these drivers at risk as they were completely unaware that they were driving illegally. As well as the personal harm experienced by victims, ghost brokers like Hakim cause financial harm to the insurance industry, driving up the cost of insurance premiums for all motorists.”