- Security TWENTY
- Women in Security
A Walsall woman has been arrested by the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department on suspicion of making up to 50 bogus insurance claims over the last four years. The 30-year-old is believed to have forged documentation and even impersonated a police officer in support of her claims on household contents and pet insurance policies.
The arrest comes as a result of the latest of a series of visits to the town by IFED detectives since the specialist crime unit, based at the City of London Police, was launched at the beginning of 2012. In January a 36-year-old woman was cautioned after submitting false crime reports for nine burglaries and a robbery that never actually happened.
The fraudster claimed that computers, cash and jewellery were stolen from her home worth up to £30,000, but the insurance company became suspicious after inspecting the crime reports and referred the matter to the IFED. Detectives confirmed the crime reports to be false and that the woman had not even contacted the police.
In February a 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of opening numerous home insurance policies with various companies in false names and addresses to make claims for expensive electrical items.
And in April IFED executed search warrants at various locations in the Walsall area, arresting two men in their twenties and seizing a substantial amount of property. The investigation related to an accident claims company, who are involved in numerous motor insurance claims suspected to be contrived accidents.
In total there were 17 such accidents reported with associated injury claims, vehicle recovery, vehicle hire and vehicle storage costs worth in excess of £300K.
Head of IFED, DCI Dave Wood, said: “IFED has been making arrests across England and Wales, with Walsall revealing itself to be one of a number of national hot-spots, both for cases of suspected opportunistic and organised insurance fraud.
“The operational activity in the town is evidence of how the climate is now changing, with a very clear message being sent out that insurance fraud in all its forms with be investigated, whoever, however and wherever it is committed.”
IFED was set up with funding from the insurance industry to combat an area of criminality valued at £3 billion per year, working out at £50 per policy holder. Between January and June the unit received 318 referrals from 43 insurers, with the majority of these cases relating to personal motor and personal property fraud. In this time detectives have investigated more than £8 million of suspected insurance fraud and made 120 arrests.