A recent fraud ring operation handled by Greg Cave and Andria Moorcroft of Keoghs’ dedicated Fraud Rings Unit has delivered a seven-figure saving against reserve for Aviva.
Operation Oxhide consisted of 66 Aviva files which shared a number of common features, namely:
Additionally, the fraud ring appeared to evolve over time. The early claims involved a number of key individuals alleging to have been involved in accidents with fictitious policyholders. In contrast, the later files seemingly featured claims in which none of the parties existed, and the named parties were not the registered keepers of the vehicles involved.
The operation highlighted the strength of Keoghs’ Intelligence Services unit, who conducted desk-based investigations into the claims and discovered that the bank details given were those of organisations which could be found online. They also discovered that a number of the given risk addresses for the claims had been copied from an internet auctioneer’s website.
Field investigations uncovered that the registered keepers of vehicles that were supposedly involved had no connection to or knowledge of the claims. They stated that the vehicles had been in their possession on the accident date and thus could not have been involved in the alleged accidents.
In light of the findings, particularly the use of mailbox addresses, we put pressure on the claimants’ solicitors to confirm the nature of their instructions. This led to the majority of files being closed due to the claimants’ solicitors either not responding or confirming they were without instructions. The remaining cases were repudiated and as required defended through to litigation.
The combined reserve for the claims was just under £1.7m, with Aviva having saved £1.1m to date (net of Keoghs’ costs and disbursements).
Commenting on the outcome, Ruth Needham, Director of Fraud Rings said:
“This case has once again emphasised the benefits of Keoghs’ innovative approach to tackling fraud rings. By having dedicated fraud ring and intelligence business units, we can build up the specialist knowledge, skills and experience required to fight back against organised fraud.”
Emma Helliwell, head of the claims fraud investigation team at Aviva added:
“This is a great result for honest Aviva policyholders – whose premiums are directly impacted by insurance fraud. By working closely with Keoghs, we have ensured that the perpetrators of this sophisticated scam have not profited from their dishonesty.”