The FCA recently warned that fraudsters are using the details of UK General Insurance Limited to scam customers, using the firm’s reference number in order to appear legitimate. Insurance Edge has comment from Mark McDonald, Consultant at financial services consultancy at Altus, looking at how the insurance industry should tackle the issue of fraud.
“Unfortunately, there’s not a lot an insurer can do directly to stop itself from being cloned, given that company data is available publicly at Government and FCA websites. However, the insurance industry should look to take a proactive approach to educating consumers, similar to the work carried out by banks over the past few years.
For example, customers should be informed about the personal information they may be asked for in a communication and warned to be on the lookout for anything that doesn’t feel right (e.g. email address it’s sent from, branding looking strange, too much information being requested). Furthermore, insurers could look to include additional customer information in communications, adding confidence to the source by stating unique information such as a partial postcode or last 4 characters of a policy.”
Last year the FCA issued a warning that Ellis David Insurance Brokers were victims to site cloning, and in May insure4Life was also hit. The scam is often similar in that a mix of real and fake details are placed online, in the hope that some drivers will pay a hefty premium to a fake company.
SEO TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR BRAND ONLINE
Copycat website fraud can affect any MGA or broker, and Insurance Edge offers the following tips to smaller companies seeking to protect themselves;
Register a package of about 20 domains so that it isn’t that easy to get a website that is almost identical to your address, save for a single number, letter, or the common suffix of .co.uk vs .com or .org.
Set up a Google and Yahoo news alert for your company name, so you can monitor what is being posted online. It won’t trawl every mention, but it will help.
Use your Google Ads dashboard to search for your own brand and add keyword modifiers such as `cheaper, car insurance, drivers, points, convictions, best, top rated, reviewed’ etc as the scammers will probably be using the same keywords within their H1 and H2 tags on their home page, to attract search traffic onto their fake website.
Keep `em peeled..