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Entrepreneur could be in line for huge payout after hiring advisers to work on £100m sale of online pet food business










An entrepreneur could be in line for a huge payout after hiring advisers to work on a £100million sale of his online pet food business. 

City sources said the owner of upmarket PetLab – Chris Masanto – is working with adviser Raymond James on a ‘strategic review’, which could lead to a sale. 

Food for thought: PetLab specialises in healthy pet foods such as probiotic pet chews, prebiotic dental sticks and salmon bites for dogs

Food for thought: PetLab specialises in healthy pet foods such as probiotic pet chews, prebiotic dental sticks and salmon bites for dogs

PetLab specialises in healthy pet foods such as probiotic pet chews, prebiotic dental sticks and salmon bites for dogs. 

Bankers said a deal might value PetLab at £100million to £150million – and private equity firms may be looking to buy a stake in the firm, which was set up three years ago. 

The move follows several similar deals amid growing appetite among pet lovers to feed their pets higher quality food. 

In 2020, Nestle bought Lily’s Kitchen while Forthglade was recently sold to Nordic private firm IK Investments.

PetLab did not return calls for comment.

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Ladbrokes owner Entain cuts profit forecast as online gambling boom falters despite retail sales jump

  • Entain predicts underlying earnings of between £875m and £885m for 2021
  • The betting business benefited from a much-fuller sporting calendar last year
  • Fourth-quarter online gaming revenue at the FTSE 100 firm fell 6% year-on-year 










Gambling group Entain has narrowed its guidance as 23 consecutive quarters of digital revenue growth came to a shuttering end.

The Ladbrokes and PartyPoker owner forecasts making between £875million and £885million in underlying earnings for the 2021 financial year, against a much broader previous estimate of £850million to £900million.

Fourth-quarter digital revenue at the FTSE 100 firm fell 6 per cent year-on-year due to a solid comparative performance in 2020 when onerous Covid-19 restrictions led to betting shops closing and punters laying more bets online. 

Jumping strong: Ladbrokes owner Entain forecasts underlying earnings between £875million and £885million this financial year, against a previous estimate of £850million to £900million

Jumping strong: Ladbrokes owner Entain forecasts underlying earnings between £875million and £885million this financial year, against a previous estimate of £850million to £900million

Yet thanks to the majority of its more than 4,000 stores remaining open this time around, the group’s retail revenue between October and December surged by 62 per cent to within 10 per cent of pre-pandemic volumes.  

Although Entain’s retail revenue for the whole year plunged by over a fifth, a strong online performance in the first three quarters of last year helped its total net gaming revenues grow by 15 per cent.

The business, which also owns SportingBet and Coral, benefited from a much-fuller sporting calendar, including the UEFA European Football Championship, Tokyo Olympics events and the return of the Wimbledon Grand Slam tennis tournament.

But it has also reaped huge gains from the fast-expanding sports betting market in the United States, where activity has been flourishing since the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a federal ban in 2018.  

Entain launched a tie-up with hospitality and entertainment company MGM Resorts the same year called BetMGM, which operates in 19 US states and territories. 

In a trading update released yesterday, the group revealed that it was the second-largest sports betting and gaming operator in the US markets where it functions for the three months to November 2021.

Big partnership: Entain launched its BetMGM tie-up with hospitality company MGM Resorts in the same year that the US Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on sports betting

Big partnership: Entain launched its BetMGM tie-up with hospitality company MGM Resorts in the same year that the US Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on sports betting

It expects revenues of around $850million for 2021, followed by more than $1.3billion the year afterwards, and to turn a positive underlying profit in 2023.

Chief executive Jette Nygaard-Andersen said: ‘2021 has been a successful and eventful period for Entain, and our market-leading platform has driven another year of strong, sustainable and diversified growth. 

‘All of our major markets have performed well. BetMGM, our hugely exciting business in the US, has been a particular highlight with FY21 net gaming revenue ahead of expectations and an upgraded outlook for 2022.’

The firm hopes to make further gains in the North American market when it launches online sportsbooks in Illinois, Louisiana and Ontario this year, and expands its bingo product and BetMGM Racing app into more states. 

Like many other British gambling companies, it has been the subject of serious takeover interest from US rivals, though it has not fallen into new ownership despite major bids being offered. 

MGM Resorts put forward an £8.1billion proposal to buy the group at the start of last year, but Entain rejected the deal on the grounds that its value was too low.

More recently, a £16.4billion takeover proposal from online betting giant DraftKings failed, with many analysts speculating that the joint venture partnership with MGM complicated the deal.

Shares in Entain were up 0.6 per cent to £17.20 during the mid-afternoon on Thursday, meaning their value has risen by 37.3 per cent over the last 12 months.

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Here’s what to do when online retailing giant Amazon bars Visa credit cards










Millions of Amazon customers will be blocked from making purchases with a Visa credit card from Wednesday, the online retailer has warned. 

It has taken the dramatic step to ban these payments due to what it claims are ‘high fees’ Visa charges to process transactions. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

Prior warning: Millions of Amazon customers will be blocked from making purchases with a Visa credit card from Wednesday

Prior warning: Millions of Amazon customers will be blocked from making purchases with a Visa credit card from Wednesday

Will I be affected? 

Millions of businesses and individuals in the UK use Visa credit cards. Barclaycard and HSBC are among the banks who issue them. 

Customers of Amazon and Amazon Prime will be affected, as well as those with subscriptions linked to Amazon, such as with Audible. 

What do I need to do? 

If you are an Amazon customer and make purchases using your Visa credit card, you will need to use a debit card instead, or find a new credit card provider. 

If you store your bank details with Amazon to make payments easier, you will have to change those too.

Should I switch to debit card? 

You could, but there are good reasons for sticking with a credit card – so long as you pay your bill in full every month. 

If you make a purchase using a credit card costing between £100 and £30,000 you are protected by consumer rules. 

These mean your credit card provider must take the same responsibility as the retailer if something goes wrong. 

If you use Amazon Marketplace, you may find this protection particularly reassuring.

So I’ll apply for a Mastercard? 

You could, but be careful. Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at wealth platform Hargreaves Lansdown, warns: ‘If you want to continue to pay with a credit card, you may have to apply for a Mastercard one, which isn’t just an irritation, but could affect your credit record too. 

‘Banks are more wary about lending to people who already have access to a lot of credit.’ 

Why is this happening? 

Amazon says it is taking the step because of Visa’s ‘high fees’. 

Last year, Visa increased the fees it charges on online and over-the-phone transactions made between UK shoppers and EU-based businesses from 0.3 per cent to 1.5 per cent. 

While Britain was in the EU, purchases were protected by an EU-wide transaction cost cap, but that cap is no longer in place. 

Mastercard also increased its fees by the same amount. However, Amazon has not taken the same approach with Mastercard, with which the retailer issues credit cards. 

Amazon is currently offering a £20 gift card to new Amazon Platinum Mastercard customers.

Will it definitely go ahead? 

Some experts had predicted that Amazon’s threat was designed to make Visa cut its fees. 

However, since neither party has budged, consumers must plan for it going ahead. Visa has said it is ‘very disappointed’ with Amazon’s decision. 

‘When consumer choice is limited, nobody wins,’ it added.

And the regulator’s view? 

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), which oversees these fees, says it is looking into it. 

Last week, the regulator revealed that it had not seen evidence that costs for card issuers have increased sufficiently to warrant higher fees. 

Writing to the Treasury Select Committee, PSR boss Chris Hemsley said: ‘Our proposed work will be looking more closely at the reasoning behind the recent increases and whether this indicates any themes or concerns that warrant action from us.’ 

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Ministers plan U-turn over whether to include internet scams in the Online Safety Bill










Ministers are preparing to make a U-turn and include investment scams in the Online Safety Bill.

Hundreds of thousands of would-be investors are being conned out of their savings every year by internet adverts purporting to be from legitimate financial services firms.

The Government previously shied away from forcing internet giants to check the validity of adverts on their websites.

Online fraud: The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has maintained that most financial harms will not be included in the Online Safety Bill

Online fraud: The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has maintained that most financial harms will not be included in the Online Safety Bill

But ministers are under pressure to include online scams in the Bill to halt a ‘pandemic’ of fraud. Whitehall and City sources told the Mail they are expecting paid-for adverts, hosted by the likes of Google, Bing and Facebook, to be included in the Bill.

This would force internet firms to check whether adverts they show are ‘real’ – and stop taking money from criminals.

Some of these scammers pose as household names, such as Aviva or Hargreaves Lansdown, while others use their own name but set up a professional-looking website.

Savers click on the adverts, thinking they are investing their money in a legitimate business – and often only find out months later that in fact they gave all their cash away to a criminal.

Conmen stole a total of £753.9million from British savers through fraud in the first half of this year alone, according to trade association UK Finance – and most of these scams originated online.

Under former culture secretary Oliver Dowden, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) – which is leading on the creation of the Bill – maintained that most financial harms will not be included.

But Nadine Dorries, who took over last September, is understood to be more receptive to the idea.

Two sources in the banking industry told the Mail that Treasury ministers have also come round to including rip-offs such as investment fraud and mobile phone text scams in the Bill, and are lobbying their counterparts in other government departments.

One source added that Treasury ministers were ‘leaning on’ their ministerial colleagues in the DCMS.

A joint committee of MPs and peers released a report last month urging ministers to broaden the scope of the up-coming legislation. 

DCMS said it would consider the recommendations of the committee, and is expected to issue a response around February.

The Treasury declined to comment last night.

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Strong demand for online fashion and electricals fuels a festive sales surge at Very Group










A Christmas sales surge fired by strong demand for electricals and fashion online brought festive cheer to retail firm The Very Group. 

The company, which operates Very.co.uk and Littlewoods and has a fashion line designed by actress Michelle Keegan, said sales rose 21.9 per cent in the seven weeks to December 24, compared with 2019. 

Electricals sales grew 28.2 per cent, with chief executive Henry Birch saying games consoles ‘flew out at the drop of a hat’. 

Very Group, which has a fashion line designed by actress Michelle Keegan (pictured), said sales rose 21.9% in the seven weeks to December 24, compared with 2019

Very Group, which has a fashion line designed by actress Michelle Keegan (pictured), said sales rose 21.9% in the seven weeks to December 24, compared with 2019

He added: ‘It was really positive to see the return of growth for fashion. We have seen that back in a really strong position. 

Beauty and wellness products have also seen a really strong period.’ Sales in the fashion and sportswear category rose 17.7 per cent over Christmas. 

Very said it had ‘good stock availability’ after boosting its shopping capacity. 

It also announced the appointment of former Walmart executive Dirk Van den Berghe as non-executive chairman. 

He said: ‘The business has transformed into a digital leader in the UK and Ireland, and is ideally positioned to benefit from increasing consumer demand.’ 

Birch said that the appointment will strengthen Very’s corporate governance as it considers a potential stock market float. 

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‘Tis but a scratch! Smashed armour worn by French soldier blasted by a cannonball during Battle of Waterloo becomes online hit after video is mocked for saying its wearer was merely ‘wounded’

  • Breastplate worn by French cavalryman in 1815 sparked debate on social media
  • A video of armour was posted online with the caption the soldier was ‘wounded’
  • Users poked fun at ‘wounded’ and suggested soldier had superpowers to survive
  • Historian said armour was worn by Antoine Fauveau, 23, at the Battle of Waterloo
  • Breastplate ruptured by 9lb canonball is on display at Musee de l’Armee in Paris










Smashed armour worn by a French soldier blasted by a cannonball during the Battle of Waterloo has become an online hit after video of it was mocked for saying its wearer was merely ‘wounded’.  

Social media users poked fun at the idea the young soldier was only ‘wounded’ by the cannonball, comparing Fauveau to Monty Python’s Black Knight with lines from the film that the soldier had only a ‘flesh wound’ and ”tis but a scratch!’

Others likened Fauveau to Captain Scarlet – the invincible 1960s children’s TV hero – while some simply questioned ‘wounded????’. 

The armour, worn by 23-year-old Antoine Fauveau, has a large cannonball entry wound on the soldier’s right chest and an exit wound at the back from a blow that would have killed him immediately.   

The breastplate, now displayed at the Musee de l’Armee in Paris, was likely hit by a 9lb cannon ball probably fired by the Royal Horse Artillery during the Battle of Waterloo, according to history Professor Tony Pollard.

He said the armour, also known as a cuirass, was pulled off Fauveau’s as a prized possession before the conscripted French cavalryman was pitched into a mass, unmarked grave.  

Images of a breastplate worn by a French cavalryman as he was struck and killed by a cannonball durning the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815 has sparked a debate on social media after it was posted with a caption saying he was 'wounded'

Images of a breastplate worn by a French cavalryman as he was struck and killed by a cannonball durning the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815 has sparked a debate on social media after it was posted with a caption saying he was ‘wounded’

The armour, which is displayed at the Musee de l'Armee in Paris, has a large canonball entry wound on the soldier's chest and an exit wound at the back

The armour, which is displayed at the Musee de l’Armee in Paris, has a large canonball entry wound on the soldier’s chest and an exit wound at the back

Who was the French soldier who wore the breastplate? 

Antoine Fauveau was a 23-year-old conscripted French cavalryman killed during the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1815.  

He died after being hit by a 9lb canon ball which smashed through his metal breastplate, killing him immediately. 

The breastplate he was wearing shows a large entry wound on the right chest and an exit wound at the back – and is on display at the Musee de L’Armee in Paris. 

The shot would have destroyed every organ in his body – though his torso was held together by the breastplate.

The young soldier was a new cavalryman conscript to the French army’s 4th company, 2nd Carabinier Regiment who would have had ‘no more than seven days training’ before his death on the battlefield.    

He was a dairyman from France who was due to get married, according to a pay book found in the breastplate after his death. 

In it, he was described as a ‘long, freckled face with a large forehead, blue eyes, hooked nose and a small mouth’.

He was buried in a mass, unmarked grave.  

Professor of Conflict History and Archaeology at the University of Glasgow Tony Pollard weighed in on the debate, lamenting social media users making light of ‘brave’ Fauveau’s death.

‘It is not a joke or a Monty Python sketch about a scratch. It might not seem so funny if we knew more about the man and his death,’ he wrote.   

He also added context to Fauveau’s death, saying that cannon balls ‘ideally’ hit the floor, bounced and then hit the soldier but the ground at Waterloo was softened by rain meaning he was instead hit ‘direct’. 

He said the shot hit Fauveau’s right breast causing ‘massive trauma’ that ‘destroyed every organ’ and resulted in instant death – but that his torso would have been held together by the armour.   

The young soldier was a new cavalryman conscript to the French army’s 4th company, 2nd Carabinier Regiment who would have had ‘no more than seven days training’ before his death on the battlefield.  

Mr Pollard said the young soldier likely died during a series of cavalry charges, described as ‘more of a slog up a muddy hill than a gallop’ because of the mud, against the Duke of Wellington’s centre and right lines on June 16. 

The 1st and 2nd Carabinier regiments were ordered forward from the east edge of Hougoumont at around 6:30pm and were met by a barrage of ‘muskets and cannon’ in which Favreau was likely killed, he said. 

He added the breastplate was a ‘prized trophy’ that was recovered before Fauveau’s body was buried in a mass, unmarked grave. 

And in a surprising turn of events for the era a pay book found lodged in the breastplate’s padding allowing officials to identify Fauveau. 

The book gave his personal details as ‘long, freckled face with a large forehead, blue eyes, hooked nose & a small mouth’ and revealed he was a dairyman who was due to get married.   

Mr Pollard said the young soldier likely died during a series of cavalry charges, described as 'more of a slog up a muddy hill than a gallop' because of the mud, against the Duke of Wellington's centre and right lines on June 16

Mr Pollard said the young soldier likely died during a series of cavalry charges, described as ‘more of a slog up a muddy hill than a gallop’ because of the mud, against the Duke of Wellington’s centre and right lines on June 16

The metal breastplate, worn by 23-year-old Antoine Fauveau, was ruptured by a canonball during fighting in a blow that would have killed him immediately

 The metal breastplate, worn by 23-year-old Antoine Fauveau, was ruptured by a canonball during fighting in a blow that would have killed him immediately

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That old adage, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping’, has never been more apt. 

As the latest crop of trading updates for the Christmas period from some of the UK’s biggest companies shows, the pandemic has failed to dampen the British shopper’s appetite for spending.

But what is beginning to show through in the trading results is that shoppers’ habits are changing as to how and where – and on what goods – they are spreading their incomes because of the impact of lockdowns and Covid restrictions.

As the latest trading updates for the Christmas period from some of the UK’s biggest firms shows, the pandemic has failed to dampen the British shopper’s appetite for spending

As the latest trading updates for the Christmas period from some of the UK’s biggest firms shows, the pandemic has failed to dampen the British shopper’s appetite for spending

What’s more, the companies which are doing particularly well, like Sainsbury’s, Dunelm and JD Sports, are the ones which have been quick to adapt to these changes.

To be fair, there’s luck involved too as they are already in the sectors where customers are channelling their spending, which is mainly on homes and food.

Take Sainsbury’s. It had an excellent run-up to Christmas with strong grocery sales, and notably fizzy champagne sales, reflecting how customers stocked up to feast more at home. 

Profits for the year have been upgraded accordingly. Yet at the same time, Sainsbury’s is keeping prices low, and is clearly not frightened of taking the fight straight to the heart of the German dissenters, Lidl and Aldi.

The grocer knows that keeping prices competitive and giving customers value for money is the best way to drive volume, and will continue to do so this year as the cost of living rises.

Dunelm is another to benefit from the switch. Helped by customers upgrading their homes, the home furnishings group is now upgrading its profits guidance. 

Compared to two years ago, Dunelm reports sales up a chunky 26 per cent and is forecasting £140million for the first-half of the year and a ‘material’ increase for the full-year.

Youngsters may not be spending so much going out or dressing up for parties but they are still forking out for expensive, sought-after trainers being sold by JD Sports. 

The sports chain is also putting up its profits guidance after a ‘robust’ performance and looks set to easily beat market expectations of around £810million.

It’s not often you hear such confident sentiments coming from company chief executives even in normal times, if there is such a thing. 

So it is encouraging to hear that trading so far is looking good, particularly now that the UK looks set to be one of the first countries in the world to emerge from the pandemic.

Yet the last two years will not be pain-free for many companies. Those legacy brands in the middle with city centre departments stores, such as John Lewis, Frasers Group and Marks and Spencer, will be squeezed although the likes of M&S are adapting fast, opening smaller grocery shops with a small number of ranges as an add-on.

One of the longer term shifts in spending patterns, and shopping behaviour, is that some form of ‘working from home’ is here to stay, maybe not for five days a week but certainly a couple.

That’s why online shopping is set to keep rising and why so many retailers – M&S, Greggs and even Pret A Manger – are moving out of city centres to smaller towns or retail parks to be closer to customers, many of whom will become part-time commuters. 

Analyst Susannah Streeter of Hargreaves Lansdown warns this will be a painful transition not only for legacy brands but also for the landlords of city centre properties.

Converting office space into residential is expensive and councils are notoriously slow at giving planning consent. Hopefully, they will see sense and act quickly if they want centres to survive and rates to be paid.

It’s a case of needs must.

Transitory or not

Those inflationary clouds hovering across the United States don’t look so transitory after all. Inflation has risen for the seventh month in a row to reach a whopping 7 per cent, the highest it has been for 40 years.

Price rises for energy, food, housing and new cars – up by a staggering third year-on- year – are being blamed for the jump.

While the cost of energy subsided in December – its first drop since April – food prices are still up by 6.5 per cent.

Economists say there are signs that prices are easing in some areas, such as raw materials, as supply chains recover from the bottlenecks created by the pandemic.

The Federal Reserve chief Jay Powell needs to find a more appropriate word than ‘transitory’ as well as being ultra-cautious with the timing of interest rate rises if he is to avoid tipping the US into recession.

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.

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The cheapest car insurance premium 22-year-old Lizzie can find using a comparison site is £2,680. It’s not surprising that her quotes are high, though.

The catering assistant from Leeds has only two years of driving experience and three points on her licence for speeding.

So when she is offered cover for her Seat Leon FR for just £860.63, it sounds too good to be true. And it is.

Undercover: Money Mail reporter Fiona Parker (pictured) posed as a 22-year-old driver struggling to find affordable motor insurance

Undercover: Money Mail reporter Fiona Parker (pictured) posed as a 22-year-old driver struggling to find affordable motor insurance

The quote has come from a ‘ghost broker’ selling worthless car insurance on social media site Instagram.

The crooks lure in motorists with offers such as ‘70 pc discounts’ and guarantee to insure drivers at rock-bottom prices.

But the insurance scam leaves victims uninsured and at risk of hefty fines and even a driving ban.

The fraud, which investigators say is soaring, is also adding around £50 to the cost of all policies as firms recoup losses.

Web of lies

Whereas ghost brokers used to post flyers in telephone boxes or approach victims in pubs, they are now touting for business on social media sites such as lnstagram, Facebook and Twitter.

In some cases the scammers will just pocket the money and send fake documents to the customer.

In others they will approach insurers for quotes, but provide falsified details to get a cheaper deal. This means the policy would be invalid should the customer ever need to claim.

Scam: A ghost broker on Instagram offering cheap car insurance

Scam: A ghost broker on Instagram offering cheap car insurance 

A quick search for ‘cheap car insurance’ on Instagram yielded dozens of results.

Posing as ‘Lizzie’, I find a broker using the name @car_insurance_specialists. The account has nearly 2,000 followers and promises to ‘beat your current quote by around 50 per cent or more’.

But with the help of insurer LV=, I soon find the bargain price offered is a sham. The firm’s data experts track the car registration number I provided to the ghost broker to monitor any requests for quotes.

They discover that, in a bid to drive down the price, the broker submits details that differ from the information I gave them.

It claims Lizzie is a married chartered accountant who lives in Cornwall, rather than a catering assistant from Leeds.

The broker also says her average mileage is just 4,000 miles a year — around half of the typical amount clocked up by UK drivers.

It means that if ‘Lizzie’ had purchased this policy, her insurance would be invalid and she could face a bill of thousands of pounds if her car was stolen or damaged.

Police can also seize and crush uninsured cars and slap owners with a £300 fine and six points on their licence.

Insurance crooks are luring in motorists with enticing offers such as '70% discounts', '£100 referral fees' and guarantees to insure young drivers at rock bottom prices

Insurance crooks are luring in motorists with enticing offers such as ‘70% discounts’, ‘£100 referral fees’ and guarantees to insure young drivers at rock bottom prices

Instagram sham

Another Instagram account called @Matrix.insurance, which has 1,500 followers, offers ‘Lizzie’ cover for £1,356.

There is a £200 admin fee — but even once this is added it is still a £1,124 saving on the best comparison site deal of £2,680.

The person running the account says that if I do not sign up within 48 hours, the premium will soar. ‘All quotes from Saturday are coming up triple — £3.6k plus.’ Yet experts say prices would not suddenly increase in this way.

A quick check on the City watchdog’s website (register.fca.org.uk) reveals that the Instagram brokers are not registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, which is a legal requirement.

No cover: The insurance scams leave victims uninsured and at risk of hefty fines and even a driving ban

No cover: The insurance scams leave victims uninsured and at risk of hefty fines and even a driving ban

Surge in fraud

In the past year alone, 21,000 fraudulent motor policies were reported to the Insurance Fraud Bureau — nearly 60 every day. 

The organisation says ghost-broking scams now account for a quarter of its investigations, up from one in eight in 2016.

The number of ghost brokers uncovered by insurer LV= has jumped by two thirds over the past two years. It currently has 20 open organised fraud inquiries, totalling £2 million.

Insurers still have to pay for a third party’s damaged vehicle even if a driver has given them false details. 

Firms can try to claim these back from the driver, but many end up having to foot the bill, and hike premiums to cover any losses.

If the other driver is injured, a claim will be made to the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, which pays out to victims of uninsured motorists. This is funded by insurers so costs are added to premiums.

Stricter checks

Experts say insurers could be doing more to stop fake policies.

But scammers have been known to use stolen identities when applying for cover. Axa is currently investigating one ghost broker that uses names and addresses of real people to secure policies.

James Blackham, chief executive of insurer By Miles, says: ‘We want to see social media companies searching out and removing ghost brokers on their platforms today, and not just wait for legislation to enforce this.’

An Instagram spokesman says: ‘Fraudulent activity is not allowed on Instagram and we have removed the accounts brought to our attention. 

‘We’re dedicating significant resources to tackle this industry-wide issue.’

f.parker@dailymail.co.uk

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.

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