Reporting Nuisance Calls
At Markerstudy, we are committed to help prevent fraudulent activities.
Our Group Investigations Manager, Jeni Matthews, explains the concerns around nuisance callers, how you can protect yourself and who to report this to.
If you have received nuisance calls you want to make us aware of please complete this short survey and we will investigate your concern.
Here is some useful information about vehicle accident claims related to nuisance calls.
Have you received calls asking if you have been involved in a car accident?
It seems that most people I speak to have been a victim of this at some point, even if they have not been involved in an accident. I will explore with you the questions I get asked most often which are, why they are calling and where did they get my information?
These nuisance calls are usually coming from “claims farmers” and in simple terms, they are trying to make money out of other people’s misfortune, sometimes illegally.
The dictionary definition of a claims farmer is:
A middle man who encourages people to make compensation claims and who then sells these claims on to a lawyer
They are usually encouraging people to make a personal injury claim. They give the impression that there is a pot of money with your name on it, all you have to do is say that you were injured and agree that you wish to receive the money. Once they have your agreement, they pass your details to a lawyer (or several) and may receive money for the referral/s.
The claims farmers make you feel as though the money is waiting for you and that you have a right to it but the truth of the matter is that claiming for personal injury when you were not injured is committing fraud, which is an illegal act. Insurers have specialist systems, techniques and trained claims handlers to identify and combat fraud to protect genuine parties, their business and your premiums.
How do they know my details?
It is common for claims farmers to contact people who have not had an accident, they just call telephone numbers at random in the hope that the receiver has been involved in a claim in the last few years. Claims Farmers have various tactics to encourage you to talk about the details of your claim. They may even call under the pretence that they are from your insurance company. Hiding behind the Data Protection Act, they subtly get people to give over lots of information about themselves and the claim circumstances, allowing the caller to believe that they held all of the information to begin with.
Social media is another source of information at claims farmer’s fingertips. It is not uncommon for people to post news or pictures of their vehicle incident online which can easily then be seen by people it wasn’t necessarily intended for. People who saw the incident or were passing by may also post on social media, even if they were not involved themselves.
There is also the possibility that details are being purchased or obtained illegally from other sources. This may include insurance companies, car hire companies, accident management companies or vehicle repairers.
How can I protect myself?
When you first report an accident to your broker or insurer, they should inform you if you are to expect any telephone calls, for example a hire company may be in touch to arrange for you to have a replacement vehicle whilst yours is being repaired. Therefore if you receive any calls you are not expecting you should be vigilant with what information you share. Before answering the callers questions, ask your own questions so that you can be comfortable that you should be discussing your claim with them. A genuine caller will usually know more details about your claim than a claims farmer. If you are in any doubt, do not speak to them any further and contact your insurance company for clarification.
Further guidance and advice can be found on the Information Commissioner’s Office website here: https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/nuisance-calls/
Should I tell anyone if I am receiving calls from claims farmers?
Yes, you may report the calls to the Information Commissioner here: https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/
You may also wish to alert your insurance company to this. For our customers, please CLICK HERE to report your concerns. You may complete this form more than once if you wish to inform us of each call you receive.
Thank you for taking the time to read this information which I hope you have found helpful.
By working together and reporting concerns, we can help combat fraud.