NORTH BAY, Ontario May 27, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Canadian Anti-fraud Centre (formerly Phonebusters) and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are warning people who are seeking and obtaining automobile insurance, that fraudsters have been advertising fraudulent insurance premiums in Ontario newspapers and on websites.
Signs consumers need to be aware of are:
- Unusually low rates
- Everyone is accepted
- A phoney, invalid insurance slip is mailed or emailed to buyers after they have sent their premium through Western Union or Money Gram.
Complaints forwarded by victims of this automobile insurance scam confirm that the scammers have used company names such as "Arthur and Son", "Smith and Sons" and "Addison and Sons".
A scam of this nature is serious in that victims are not aware that their automobile insurance is not valid until they are involved in a collision or are stopped by police.
The Canadian Anti-fraud Centre is advising citizens to protect themselves by following a few safety measures when shopping for automobile insurance. Legitimate insurance companies and brokers have to be registered in Ontario and a consumer can verify a company through the following two sources of information:
1) All Ontario Insurance brokers have to be licensed with the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO). You can contact RIBO at 416-365-3098 and 1-800-265-3097 or by visiting www.ribo.com
2) In Ontario, automobile insurance is regulated by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Finance. In order to provide insurance, an insurance company must be registered with FSCO. You can contact FSCO at www.fsco.gov.on.ca
If you suspect you have or are about to purchase fraudulent insurance, please contact your local police service and the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
You may also visit www.phonebuster.com to educate yourself against fraud and scams currently affecting Canadians.