By: 26 July 2023
DAC Beachcroft and Aviva defeat around 200 organised motor fraud claims

DAC Beachcroft has concluded almost 200 organised, multi-claimant motor fraud claims for Aviva Insurance over the last 12 months.

The law firm’s counter fraud team, which sits within its claims solutions group, tackled claims spread across 47 separate organised fraud networks.

The team recorded an average of £12,000 of fraud savings per claimant, and fully or partially repudiated 76% of all claims for reasons of fraud.

Commenting on the results, Dan Prince, head of motor fraud at DAC Beachcroft, said: “The last 12 months was one of our most successful for tackling fraudulent organised motor claims with Aviva.

“As a long-standing client, we’ve collaborated closely with Aviva’s exceptional organised fraud team, part of its overall national counter fraud unit, which has allowed us both to stay ahead of the curve on organised scams and the strategies needed to defeat them.”

The law firm put the success of its partnership with Aviva down to a renewed focus on quantitative and qualitative data analysis, along with an improved understanding of how organised fraudsters operate.

Natalie Randall, head of organised fraud and financial crime at DAC Beachcroft, explained: “Our emphasis on fraud data analysis has enabled us to identify the new techniques being used by fraudsters when presenting claims and their shift in organised behaviours.

“Whilst they historically raised suspicion by repeating the same modus operandi (MO) multiple times, claiming excessive amounts without appropriate proof and deliberately obstructing the claims process, today’s organised fraudsters are now appearing to ‘co-operate’ with the claims process.

“By doing this, they avoid triggering fraud checklists. Organised fraudsters are mixing their MO, lowering claim values and providing early claims validation evidence without question. Whilst convincing on the surface, the ‘validation’ evidence is often manipulated, provided out of context or fabricated entirely to support their narrative.”

One example cited saw a series of accidents identified through policy quote data analysis, which suggested links between individuals making claims against Aviva customers but a closer look revealed little to link them using traditional methods.

The fraud was identified because each claim included dashcam footage, disclosed by the claimant, that had been snipped identically on each occasion. This meant that the claimant was not shown deliberately speeding up to induce the collision.

When the DAC Beachcroft and Aviva teams scrutinised the claimant’s validation evidence, they identified 18 claims as linked. After requests for the disclosure of additional footage went unanswered, the law firm was able to repudiate all claims, worth £150,000 in total.

Another investigation focused on a series of claims that featured so-called ‘shallow-faked’ proof of identity and address documents, which were ultimately disproved, resulting in £450,000 of fraud savings and the defeat of 28 claims.

This practice involves manipulating a genuine document or image to validate identity and claim documentation checks. DAC Beachcroft has been shining a light on its adoption.

Prince commented: “Securing claims validation evidence is no longer sufficient. In this tech-driven environment we have adopted the moto, ‘validate the validation’, which is now crucial for identifying and investigating today’s organised fraudster.”

Pete Ward, head of claims counter fraud at Aviva, commented: “Identifying and tackling organised fraud continues to be a key priority for our counter fraud team.

“Working in collaboration with DACB, we secured excellent outcomes in the last year which demonstrates Aviva’s resolve to investigate and defend fraudulent claims.

“The nature of fraud is changing and working with our key strategic partners allows us react quickly to emerging trends thereby protecting our genuine customers.”

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