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From the Post Magazine “Criminals are very good at getting money out of people using little effort.” He added: “This is theft, and potentially dangerous theft as you could be uninsured and risking damage to your car or other people and their cars or property and the costs of the latter will fall onto other law-abiding motorists in terms of their contributions to the MIB uninsured drivers’ fund. “As people don’t really care who they are insured with, anyone can set up online and pretend to be a broker and pretend to place the business and issue invalid documents.” Bjelobaba added: “It’s a very easy fraud to get away with and so hard to discover. The only way to discover it is when you make a claim or a car goes through automatic number-plate-recognition and the police get in touch to say you are not on the Motor Insurers Bureau database.”

There is also speculation that this type of fraud is bolstered by inside knowledge. He said: “You have to gather quote information, produce legitimate looking documents and take payment – all of that requires effort and intelligence and someone who is good on websites. Plus you have the money trail as all payments are electronic. You will need to be listed either on Google or on the comparison sites, so both of those need money and I can’t imagine the latter not doing proper due diligence on ‘brokers’ wanting to be included in the listings.” Clone broking is hard to prevent, said Bjelobaba, as it is “impossible to police until it goes all wrong”. He added: “Then a trail has to happen, which is going to keep the police busy, especially if hived off to their online fraud section, which will be under resourced.”