The results of TotallyMoney’s Financial Awareness Survey 2020 reveals that myths surrounding interest payments, credit limits and how often you need to use your card are clouding the judgement of UK consumers.

One shocking statistic shows that over half of UK adults (54%) didn’t know that paying off an outstanding balance in full each month may be good for their credit rating.

Equally concerning is that almost two fifths of people (37%) wrongly believe that by making minimum monthly repayments, interest is waived.

Surprisingly, the presence of these finance industry misconceptions and half-truths aren’t new, but their effects prolong credit confusion for consumers across the UK.

Alastair Douglas, CEO of finance experts TotallyMoney, said: “Credit myths have a habit of tripping up both new and experienced credit users.

“Second-hand advice and outdated information fan the flames of these financial fables. They cause people to miss out on credit opportunities they’re entitled to or, worse still, result in consumers being burnt by unnecessary costs because of bad credit knowledge.

“Breaking the cycle of these credit myths means putting accurate information into the hands of consumers, which takes time. At TotallyMoney, our mission is to improve the UK’s credit score. A large part of this is tackling these long-standing myths so our customers have the knowledge they need to move on up to a better financial future.”

Putting an end to financial fables

Myth 1: Credit limits are there to be used, so it’s OK to max out my card

Why people believe it: Lenders make financial assessments to set the limits. They must be happy for me to use the full credit amount, or they wouldn’t have set that limit.

The facts: Lenders watch how you spend your credit. How you use it contributes to your credit score. Maxing out cards or going close to the limit may suggest a heavy reliance on credit for everyday living, which increases the risk of racking up debts you can’t repay. Avoid this by keeping the balance on your card to under 25% of your total limit.

The findings: Only 18% of adults knew that keeping your balance below 25% of your limit may improve your credit score.

Myth 2: Interest isn’t added if I make monthly minimum repayments

Why people believe it: The banks are happy with this minimum amount, so if I pay what they ask I’ll avoid extra interest.

The facts: Interest is only waived during interest-free offers or by clearing your balance in full, every month.

The findings: Almost two fifths of people (37%) thought interest wouldn’t be added if minimum payments were made each month.

Myth 3: My credit score doesn’t influence the credit deals or offers that are available to me

Why people believe it: Score changes can be so minor that lenders won’t notice. It makes little difference. They’ll either lend to me or they won’t.

The facts: A high credit score shows lenders you’re trustworthy. The more they trust you, the more favourable the offers and products.

The findings: Shockingly, only a third of people (34%) realised that a higher credit score leads to better deals.

Myth 4: Borrowing on a credit card and debit card give me the same protections

Why people believe it: Debit cards look and work the same as credit cards, therefore they have the same protections and there’s no benefit to using one over the other.

The facts: Credit card payments are protected by Section 75. This entitles you to reimbursement for payments between £100 and £30,000 if a purchase isn’t successfully completed. Debit card payments aren’t protected by Section 75 so if something goes wrong (like a company goes bust) your money is lost.

The findings: Well over half of people (60%) had no idea they were entitled to purchase protection by using their credit card.

Myth 5: I must use my card every month

Why people believe it: Lenders want you to use your card, so if they see you’re not making purchases they’ll take it away.

The facts: It’s your card and your credit to use as fleetingly as you want. You don’t have to use it every month. Plus, remaining under 25% of your limit month after month can boost your credit score.

The findings: A huge 59% of adults wrongly believe that to keep a card you had to use it every month.

Myth 6: I should choose a card based on the APR

Why people believe it: APR relates to interest. High APR means paying more interest, which no one wants. Plus, APR is always shown in credit adverts so it must be important.

The facts: If you regularly leave a balance on your credit card and it doesn’t have an interest-free offer on it, then a high APR means you’ll pay more interest on whatever’s left over. But, credit best practice means repaying your balance in full, every month so you never incur interest. If you do this, how high the APR is doesn’t matter. Instead, look for the credit card benefits that suit your needs, such as a balance transfer offer or 0% interest term.

The findings: When quizzed on APR, 38% of people believed this figure was the most important thing to look at before applying for a card.

Myth 7: I’m more likely to be approved for a card from my bank than any other lender

Why people believe it: My bank already knows me and my financial position, so they’re more likely to approve my credit application.

The facts: Banks don’t consider this. If anything, being an existing customer could work against you because they don’t need to win you over. Shopping around is worth it. Other lenders wanting to entice you to become their customer could give you more favourable terms.

With as much as 60% of the UK workforce now potentially working from home in a response to the global pandemic, data experts at home energy saving assistant Loop has shared simple steps to help reduce energy usage and make sure your home is as efficient as possible to avoid unwelcome bill increases.

Beware the Phantom Load

Some appliances need to be left on all the time (like a fridge or freezer) or kept on standby (like a smart speaker) but many appliances are left on that don’t need to be. This background electricity use is known as “Phantom Load”, because of the way in which energy is invisibly drained without users necessarily knowing about it.

Understanding the Phantom Load lurking in your home and what’s contributing towards it is important, as homeowners can often make simple changes that can lead to significant savings. With more people at home following government advice, Loop is urging homeowners to look around their home to identify any appliances that could be switched off.

Analysis of Loop data found the average UK household could be wasting up to £140 unnecessarily through their Phantom Load, while in some homes this could be as much as £450. These figures could increase with more people working from home.

Across the UK that means that just switching things off could collectively save households almost £4bn.

Some of the biggest energy-wasting culprits in British homes include faulty set-top boxes, which could cost more than £75 if left on standby for a year, and unused fridges or freezers which could be adding an extra £50 to your energy bill every year. With many now using office equipment at home, leaving desktop computers on around-the-clock could add £40 to your bills.

Top tip: Turning off your laptop or desktop when you’re finished for the day also helps to draw a clear line between work time and family time, something all remote workers should practice while working from home. 

Steve Buckley, Head of Data Science at Loop, explains:

“Spending more time at home usually equates to higher energy bills. However, we’ve seen that even making simple changes can make a big difference to your wallet.”

“Phantom Load is not to be underestimated and there are some obvious culprits to look out for. By going around each room in your house to see what’s on standby, you can drastically reduce your energy waste and spend. However, Phantom Load is different in every household, and not every cause of wasted energy is obvious.”

“But for many people it’s not just about saving money – using less energy is also about helping to tackle climate change. The nation’s awareness of the impact of carbon emissions is growing by the day, and most people want to do something to stop it.”

Below are Loop’s tips for keeping on top of your usage while working from home:

Turn your central heating thermostat down by 1 degree 

Turning the temperature down by just 1 degree could save you up to £80 and reduce your home’s carbon dioxide emissions by up to 320kg, all without you even noticing.

Move sofas away from radiators

If you’ve got the heating on for longer while you’re working from home, make sure you move any sofas away from radiators to ensure heat can circulate properly.

Reduce your Phantom Load

Some appliances need to be left on all the time (like a fridge or freezer) or kept on standby (like a smart speaker) but many appliances are left on that don’t need to be. This background electricity use is known as “Phantom Load”, because of the way in which energy is invisibly drained without users necessarily knowing about it.

Make sure you keep your Phantom Load low by turning items off when they’re not in use, such as laptops and desktops you are using to work from home. Household appliances like multi-room speakers and digital TV boxes can also contribute to rising costs, so switching things off at the plug when they’re not in use is a must.

Swap to LED bulbs

If you’re at home it’s reasonable to expect your lights will be on more often, so there’s even more reason to swap to LEDs.  If you replace all of the bulbs in your home with LEDs, then for an initial outlay of around £100 for an average house, you’ll save about £35 a year on your energy bill.

Switch your supplier or tariff

If you’re not sure which energy tariff you’re on, or when it’s due to come to an end, now could be the perfect time to check you’re still on the cheapest deal. If you haven’t switched supplier or tariff for over a year, there’s a chance you could be on a pricey standard variable tariff, so use an energy-saving assistant like Loop or head to a compare deals to find a cheaper option. There is no easier way to save hundreds of pounds!

With almost half of consumers reporting to have never switched, the UK could save more than £8 billion in 2020 by switching to a cheaper energy tariff at the right time.

Keep calm and make a cuppa

Whether you’re still in the office or working from home, a morning cuppa is likely to be top of your to-do list, but make sure you only fill the kettle with the water that you need. The savings are around £6 a year, but every penny counts!

New research from advisory firm HUB Financial Solutions reveals that half of homeowners over the age
of 65 have never checked whether they are entitled to State Benefits in addition to their State Pension.

The survey of more than 1,000 people found that 48% of homeowners had never checked if they could
be entitled to financial help, while a quarter (24%) last checked more than one year ago.

In comparison, renters were far more likely to have checked their eligibility with three in 10 (29%)
reviewing the situation within the past 12 months. Only one in seven (14%) of those renting their home
said they had never checked.

A significant proportion (29%) of homeowners explicitly stated that they thought the value of their home
meant they would not qualify for additional support, while seven in 10 (70%) said they thought their
income would probably disqualify them from receiving extra benefits.

“It is important that people do not automatically assume that owning their home means they are not
entitled to State support,” said Simon Gray, Managing Director of HUB Financial Solutions.

“Benefits are in place to help people in all sorts of situations, whether they are having to care for a
spouse or other relative, suffering from an illness or disability of their own, or entitled to a reduction in
their Council Tax. Many people are missing out on benefits they are entitled to receive and that extra
income could make a big difference.”

Overall, the research found that 54% of renters were claiming State Benefits, five times the proportion of
homeowners, where just one in 10 (11%) were receiving extra financial support.

Research earlier this year showed the true cost to pensioner homeowners in not claiming their full
Benefits entitlement. Nearly half (46%) were not claiming any benefits despite being entitled to and a
further one in five (18%) were not claiming their full entitlement with the average household missing out
on an extra £1,614 a year.

The latest research from Caxton, the international payments and foreign exchange firm, reveals that only just over half (54%) of UK holidaymakers have travel insurance in place at the time of booking their trip.

Caxton found that 32% per cent of those surveyed admitted they didn’t purchase travel cover until between 2 months and one week before they jet off, with one in eight (13%) taking a flyer and travelling without any cover in place.

Alana Parsons, Chief Operating Officer at Caxton comments: “The Coronavirus outbreak highlights why it’s important to have a safety net in place – it may seem like a non-essential additional expense but it’s at times like these that insurance comes into its own and people appreciate the value it can offer.

“Insuring at the time of booking should be the default position for travellers – the upfront cost is often fairly small when compared with the potential financial loss if something unexpected occurs, forcing you to rejig your holiday plans.”

“If you’re a frequent traveller an annual multi trip policy is a cost effective way of ensuring you’re always covered and is an essential part of your travel kit ‘must haves’ along with your passport and travel money card.”

A new report out today from GoCompare Car Insurance has revealed that the cost of getting a young driver on the road has fallen to £6,071.00.

The combined cost of a new young motorist learning to drive, buying, taxing and then insuring their first car has fallen by £775.00 in the last year from £6,846.00 to £6,071.00.

The drop is attributed largely to young drivers spending less on buying their first car (£3,562.00 compared to £4,276.00 in 2018) and the average car insurance premium for a 17-year old driver falling from £1,852.00 in 2018 to £1,737.00 in 2019.

In fact, analysis of over 2.3m car insurance quotes generated by young drivers using GoCompare reveals that the average lowest car insurance premium for a 17-year old driver has fallen by nearly 50% from £3,392.00 in 2012 to £1,737.00 in 2019.

Lee Griffin, founder, and CEO of GoCompare said: “At around £6000 the cost of getting a new driver on the road is a substantial drain on teenagers’ and their family’s finances. Although buying the first car still accounts for the majority of the initial expense, the first car insurance premium can also cost into the thousands. Hence why so many parents are dipping into their own pockets to help their children out.

“However, the surprising good news is that the cost of insurance for new drivers has fallen substantially since 2012 as the average premium is nearly half what it was eight years ago. The introduction of telematics or ‘black box’ style insurance which utilises the latest technology to monitor drivers and reward safer driving has undoubtedly helped to lower costs.

New research from Charter Savings Bank shows shoppers are increasingly happy to pay more to cut back on plastic and boost sales of sustainable products.

Its nationwide study found customers are willing to pay 9% more on their weekly shop – equivalent to an extra £5.50 on the average household bill of £60.602 – to ensure more sustainable packaging is used.

Nearly half of all adults (46%) plan to buy more sustainable products this year with women (54%) more likely than men (38%) to place a greater focus on sustainability in their shopping in 2020. The research found just one in 20 adults (5%) saying they didn’t buy any sustainable products last year and won’t buy any this year.

The sustainability switch is supported by attitudes to reusable alternatives to everyday products such as coffee cups and water bottles with 48% of adults saying they are willing to pay more. That rises to 59% for people in their 20s.

However the commitment to sustainability is not total – research found shoppers are more likely to use reusable shopping bags, water bottles and coffee cups but are less interested in metal straws as the table below shows.

What do shoppers use the majority of the time?

Reusable/sustainable product vs Non sustainable alternative
Reusable shopping bag/bag for life: 83% vs Non reusable bag in shop: 7%
LED lightbulbs: 73% vs Non energy saving lightbulbs: 11%
Reusable grocery/vegetable bags: 55% vs Non reusable bag in shop (free): 18%
Reusable water bottle: 52% vs Bottled water: 20%
Local produce: 54% vs Cheaper imported fruit and veg: 30%
Face cloth (instead of wipes): 52% vs Face wipes (non-biodegradable): 15%
Rechargeable batteries: 49% vs Single use batteries: 33%
Biodegradable bin bags: 46% vs Non-biodegradable bin bags: 29%
Reusable coffee cup: 33% vs Single use cup: 17%
Metal straw: 17% vs Free one-use straw: 25%
Bamboo toothbrush: 12% vs Plastic toothbrush: 54%
Wooden razor: 9% vs Plastic razor: 48%
Biodegradable wipes: 33% vs Non-biodegradable wipes: 19%
Washable nappies: 8% vs Disposable nappies: 12%
Reusable sandwich wraps: 26% vs Cling film: 26%


Paul Whitlock, Group Managing Director, Savings said: “Sustainability is an important factor in purchasing considerations for all age groups – it’s not just millennials who care about the environment.

“Since we launched in 2015, we’ve taken steps to reduce the amount of waste we produce and to operate as sustainably as possible.

“Our new office is full of things to help us lower our impact on the environment. Removing single-use plastic cups and giving all our people reusable coffee cups is just one of the many positive changes we’ve made to be more sustainable.

“It’s vital that we all do our bit to become greener and help the environment and it’s encouraging to see that people are willing to spend more to see less plastic and packaging and aim to increase the number of sustainable products they buy this year. The good news is that it can also save money. Bags for life and reusable coffee cups and water bottles may cost a bit more than alternatives, but will save you money in the long-run.”

A third of undergraduates are using loans, overdrafts and credit cards to pay rent at university, the National Student Accommodation Survey 2020 has found. Some are even taking out payday loans to pay their landlords.

The annual research by money advice site Save the Student polled 2,168 students, and reveals widespread borrowing among undergrads. Although 36% turn to commercial lenders, the figure jumps to 60% when sources include family, friends and employers.

Naomi (not her real name) studies at the University of Leeds. She says: “I owe almost £3,000 on overdrafts, plus £800 on a credit card (at around 30% interest). All of this was to pay rent in shared houses.

“I took a Smart-Pig loan for £200 to pay rent in my 2nd year. In the 3rd year I got a credit card, and put about £400 on it. Then I had to open a second overdraft.”

According to the survey, students spend an average of £126.42 a week on rent (£547.82 a month). However, an FOI request by Save the Student puts the average Maintenance Loan award at just £540 a month for rent AND living costs.

As a result, most of this government funding goes straight to university or private landlords. Meanwhile, 1 in 10 students (11%) say rent is “a constant struggle”. A similar number (9.7%) have missed payments, while 2% have experienced eviction for not paying rent.

Lucy, a 3rd year student at UWE Bristol, juggles four overdrafts to keep up with rent. “When I lived in uni halls my rent was £8,000 a year (the cheapest I was offered) and my student loan was £8,500.

“I’ve got £950 in a paid Monzo overdraft, which costs £15 a month. There’s £1,800 on my Santander overdraft, but this is free while I’m studying. There’s also Nationwide (£250) and Halifax (£1,000) – I pay for both of these each month.”

The high cost of student accommodation (compared to the funding available) is creating a stark divide. On average, stay-at-home students pay just £53 per week for rent. Those in university halls pay £142, or an extra £4,628 over a year.

Where do students borrow money from to pay rent?

  • Parents (37%)
  • Bank overdraft or loan (28%)
  • Friends (13%)
  • The university (7%)
  • Credit card (6%)
  • Payday loan (2%)
  • Employer (1%)

Parents are the first port of call for loans – despite already contributing an average of £2,542 towards rent each year.

Students whose families can’t afford to help as much (or whose parents’ income reduces the Maintenance Loan award) may find consumer credit, such as loans and credit cards, to be a costly alternative.

Unlike the Student Loan, most forms of credit come with uncapped interest rates, plus serious consequences for late repayment, such as fees or credit score damage. Anything borrowed also has to be repaid regardless of income or employment status.

Lucy adds, “I’m careful with my spending and don’t live a lavish lifestyle, but I often have to feed myself on £10 a week, or prioritise rent over other bills. This has even led to me being chased by debt collectors.”

Just over half of undergrads (54%) told the survey that worrying about rent affects their health. Taking on the risks and demands of consumer debt, especially without a steady income, is only likely to add to their stress.

Jake Butler, money expert for Save the Student says the survey highlights an urgent problem with student funding. He adds: “This discovery that so many students are risking serious debt in order to just pay for student accommodation is worrying.

“It’s unfair that students are forced to borrow to keep a roof over their heads, and without being warned about the impact debt may have on their wellbeing and future finances. Students should be able to focus on studying, and not on trying to climb out of a debt spiral caused by shortsighted student funding and over-priced rents.

“The Maintenance Loan isn’t enough to live on and, evidently, most of it goes to landlords. The system is long overdue government reform.”

Sue Anderson, Head of Media at StepChange Debt Charity, comments: “Students are among the most financially stretched groups, so it’s no surprise university can be a time when debts build up. Tuition fees and maintenance loans often won’t cover the essentials for many students, who can find themselves turning to consumer credit like overdrafts or private loans to survive.

“These forms of credit can seem attractive as they often won’t require repayment until the end of your studies. However, many students face a cliff-edge upon finishing university when repayments kick in and they are likely to be financially vulnerable

“We’d encourage those lending to students to consider these pitfalls, and to ensure their products don’t end up causing financial difficulties. For any student struggling with debt, help with managing your finances can be found on our website:

Adults aged 50 and over are aspiring to save £80,000 for their loved ones, yet a fifth (22%) don’t currently save and a further tenth (8%) don’t even have a savings account, according to a new Co-op Insurance study conducted among 2000 UK adults aged 50 and over.

Of those adults aged 50 and over who have saved, almost a tenth (9%) say they have less than £1,000 put aside, a fifth have less than £5,000 saved and a quarter have less than £10,000 saved.

For those who do save, it’s evident that despite wanting to leave savings for loved ones, the temptation of dipping into savings accounts is very common among adults aged 50 and over.

Over four fifths have dipped into their savings at some point and in the last month alone, over a quarter (27%) have accessed their savings.

Over a fifth of those who have used money from their savings did so to go on holiday, a fifth (20%) used the money for home refurbishments and over a tenth (13%) bought a car.

Furthermore, 40% of adults aged 50 and over who have a savings account said they had to stop saving for an extended period of time, rising to almost three fifths for adults aged 50-54.

When asked why this was, over two fifths of those who had to stop putting money into their savings account for an extended period of time (44%) said that other outgoings took priority, over a quarter (28%) had unexpected bills to pay and almost a fifth (19%) said someone in their family needed financial help, so they gave money to them instead.

Almost a fifth paid for a holiday, 15% said paying for Christmas took priority and over 14% paid to get their car fixed instead.

The research comes as Co-op Insurance launches it’s over 50s life insurance plan, which allows customers to leave a lump sum up to £10,000 for their loved ones when they pass away.

Charles Offord, Managing Director at Co-op Insurance said: “We know that so many people hope to leave lump sums to their loved ones when they’re gone, but in reality, that’s not always possible. The majority of people with savings do at times dip into them in order to cover other outgoings and life events.”

“We see our new Over 50’s plan as a means to which people can affordably and flexibly save nest eggs to leave to their loved ones when they pass away.”

Finance experts TotallyMoney have warned that 27 million UK households are potentially missing out on substantial £300 savings due to price hikes and widespread misconceptions. Research reveals:

  • £300 a year could be saved on average in UK households by switching energy tariff
  • This equates to customers overpaying by £3.8 billion due to not switching energy tariff or supplier
  • 82% of the British public failed to switch energy in 2018
  • Over half (58%) falsely believe they are already on the best tariff

TotallyMoney’s award-winning free credit report has always shown customers how much their money habits affect their credit score. Their brand-new energy switching service helps customers to improve their spending habits, and means they will now see their best money-saving options to ensure they never pay more than they need to.

The launch comes at a pivotal time for customers, many of whom resolve to take control of their finances at the beginning of the year but remain unaware of how significant an impact energy switching has on their financial welfare.

Shockingly, nearly three in five (58%) believe they are already on the best energy tariff. However, many don’t know that some energy suppliers automatically place customers on the most expensive plan once their introductory period ends, which is only capped due to restrictions and regulations mandated by the government.

The lightbulb moment

TotallyMoney customers now get a constantly up-to-date view on how much they can save on their energy bills and can complete a money-saving switch in as little as two minutes. This hassle-free experience will overcome significant barriers for customers, with one in four believing energy switching to be an inconvenience and are left out of pocket as a result.

Customers can also choose how they save based on what matters to them most, whether that’s price alone, well-established energy providers, contract flexibility, or green suppliers.

Alastair Douglas, CEO of TotallyMoney, comments:

“We’re excited to launch energy switching for our customers and are keen to get the word out about how significant the potential savings are. 

“It’s alarming that £3.8 billion of people’s hard-earned money is being lost due to not switching.

“A £300 annual saving is a worthwhile return in exchange for just two minutes of someone’s time — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. For larger households and families, the potential savings could be even greater.

Direct Line Car Insurance is warning consumers not to be scammed into buying worthless fake car insurance policies, after new analysis1 reveals it takes just ten seconds to find an insurance scammer, known as a ghost broker, on social media fraudulently claiming to sell fully comprehensive car insurance from companies such as Admiral, Hastings Direct, AVIVA and Churchill.

The insurer is leading the fight against these fraudsters, who specifically target vulnerable consumers, through major social media sites.  Direct Line reports that by working with these social media platforms to delete accounts that were fraudulently targeting consumers using its brand, it has now assisted in the closure of over 500.  Direct Line continues to work together with social media companies to proactively search and delete these insurance scams.

Steve Barrett, head of motor insurance at Direct Line, commented: “Social media platforms are being targeted by these scam artists, and it is important we continue to work together to protect consumers from being misled into buying a worthless car insurance policy. Fraud adds £50 to the insurance premiums of honest customers, so for every person who mistakenly thinks they save money using a ghost broker;  everyone else pays more.

“Consumers need to be beware when responding to adverts and profiles that appear ‘too good to be true’ on social media, as they could find themselves a victim of fraud, losing money and potentially facing criminal charges. Whilst insurers are doing all they can to spot these fake accounts to protect honest policyholders, drivers may only find out they have been scammed when they come to make a claim or if pulled over for a random police check.”

One ghost broker identified promises that they “100% use a client’s details” to secure fully comprehensive insurance yet are also offering the first five people to contact them a car insurance policy for just £200, which is impossible to guarantee.  Ghost brokers will sell fraudulent insurance policies that never exist, use false information to secure a policy in someone’s name, or even buy a legitimate policy only to then cancel it, pocketing the refund.  Many of these scam artists also promise “£50 to refer a friend” to attract even more victims to their scams.

To try and avoid detection and the tracing of payments ghost brokers are using messaging apps, where messages are encrypted to communicate with vulnerable consumers, and requesting payment in cryptocurrency.

Barrett continues: “We proactively engage with social media owners, identifying ghost brokers and petitioning for the removal of these pages to protect the public.  We also have stringent processes in place to identify potentially fraudulent insurance applications.  Anyone we suspect of operating as a ghost broker will be reported immediately to the authorities.”

It is illegal to drive without valid insurance and drivers caught by the police, whose policy is fraudulent or has been cancelled without their knowledge, risk a fixed penalty of £300 and six penalty points on their licence2.  If the case goes to court a driver can face an unlimited fine and be disqualified from driving.


Advice for consumers:

  • The policy holder is responsible for the information provided in their application, if a the information given is not accurate,  their insurance will be invalid.
  • Only purchase motor insurance from reputable sources, Direct Line doesn’t sell through brokers. Policies can only be purchased direct via the website or telephone
  • Official social media accounts on major platforms have a blue tick, So avoid those accounts that don’t have one
  • Steer clear, if a ‘Broker’ only uses a mobile number or has no business premises or uses personal sounding email address (i.e. no company affiliation)
  • Contact the insurer directly if going through a broker to check if they are authorised to sell policies on the company’s behalf or check them out at or
  • Adverts promising insurance for a fixed price without having any details of your personal situation or the vehicle you are seeking to insure are likely to be fraudulent
  • Reviews – if these feature screengrabs of text messages, they are extremely likely to be fake
  • Check the language – if communications include text such as “you can’t believe how cheap it is bro” and “totally legit not a scam mate” – it probably is fraudulent
  • Intuition – ask yourself if the deal appears ‘too good to be true’, does the website or social media page appear reputable?

How to check you’re not a victim:

  • Check if the Broker is registered with FCA and/or BIBA
  • Check your details with the insurer you have been informed you are insured with
  • Check if your car is insured online via

What a consumer should do if they think it’s a scam:

  • Report to Action Fraud: 0300 123 2040
  • Contact Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) Cheatline – 0800 422 0421