Police and lawyers are turning the tide against firms driving fake holiday sickness claims with a flurry of investigations and private prosecutions.
Merseyside Police has opened investigations into two claims management companies (CMCs).
It is monitoring three cases lodged against tour operators by each of the firms suspected of encouraging bogus claims from holidaymakers, with a view to prosecuting them for fraud.
It comes as Manchester‑based law firm Horwich Farrelly launched private prosecutions against “a number of” holidaymakers after successfully defending more than 2,000 claims on behalf of tour operators.
Horwich Farrelly partner Mark Hudson said: “We are looking to make an example of these individuals and are going to use the full force of the law against them.”
It has also been passing information about the CMCs involved in dubious claims to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
The MoJ, meanwhile, continues to investigate 12 CMCs over encouraging fake claims, while the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) is now investigating the conduct of 27 law firms it suspects have contributed to the soaring number of bogus claims.
A Merseyside Police spokesman confirmed “two main strands” to its investigation and that no arrests had yet been made.
An MoJ spokeswoman said: “We will continue to investigate any intelligence received about companies encouraging this fraudulent practice.”
An SRA spokesman said “everyone knows what the problem is” and urged law firms to vet CMCs before accepting cases.
Abta figures show the number of holiday sickness claims rose by 500% between 2013 and last summer. The rise led to the launch of Travel Weekly’s Fight Fake Claims campaign a year ago, and Abta’s Stop Sickness Scams campaign.
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