The news is constantly informing consumers of fraudsters posing as insurance brokers, cheating consumers out of money and causing a great deal of distress. This has been known to create a sense of scepticism around the broker, detrimental to those firms with honest ethics. Seldom do we hear of brokers being a victim of fraud themselves. It seems that times are changing with brokers becoming an attractive target for phone scammers. In an investigation carried out by LifeQuote it has be revealed that brokers have been subject to deception of late by fraud customers, requesting to be called back on ‘070’ numbers. Where we assume these numbers to be mobile numbers of those who require a quote it is actually a scam with the call costing the broker around £50. “If you are in the business where you call customers back you can be caught out quickly,” said Neil McCarthy, sales and marketing director of LifeQuote. “Apart from your time that is wasted, this can be costly.” This is becoming a real issue for brokers with around 500 complaints being made in 2013 in regards to the misuse of numbers. Mark Bower-Dyke, chairman at Be Wiser Insurance, commented: “We have internal checks so fraud will be identified – we’ve had to put that in place, but suppliers don’t. It’s a sad position. “We are so exposed, we can only react as we don’t hold all the information, but suppliers do know what’s going on.” Paul Hine, managing director at Hine Chartered Insurance Brokers, added: “It’s irritating that people can access these numbers but they are mainly used overseas so it isn’t easy to control. I don’t know how regulation could eradicate it. “Instead phone companies should automatically block numbers and companies could opt in to them, whereas now they generally allow access to everything.” Brokers feel that these criminals are getting off scot-free, “It is a crime people can commit with impunity as no one counts it,” said Bower-Dyke. However PhonepayPlus responded: “Where we get sufficient evidence of misuse we will investigate, and if misuse is proven the numbers can be quickly blocked.” So, if you are a broker it is worth going through the company phone bill and keeping an eye out for ‘070’ numbers!