A driver has been jailed after taking out a policy in a false name on an unregistered car then claiming for a crash which never happened.

Raja Abbas reported to his insurer that he had hit a Vauxhall Corsa owned by a motorist called ‘James Carr’.

But Abbas had himself taken out the insurance policy on the unregistered Corsa under the alias of Carr so he could claim £2,300 damage to his Audi.

The fraudster’s claim unravelled when Covéa Insurance conducted their own investigation and could find no evidence of the existence of Carr or his Corsa.

Further enquiries revealed Abbas used the same bankcard to pay for his alias’ car insurance and to get his Audi out of a storage centre where it had been kept after the ‘accident’.

At this point, Covéa Insurance referred the matter to the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) who passed it to the City of London Police Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).

IFED detectives travelled to the West Midlands to arrest Abbas at his home in May 2012.

The 34-year-old of Jasmine Road, in Dudley, was subsequently charged with, and pleaded guilty to, fraud by false representation.

Abbas was handed a 12 month community order at City of London Magistrates’ Court, and was ordered to undertake 120 hours unpaid and pay £650 court costs.

DC Tom Hill, who led the IFED investigation, said: “Abbas thought he could make a quick buck by inventing himself a new identity. He let his imagination run away with him but his sentence and a criminal record should bring him back down to earth with a bump.”

Ben Fletcher, Director of the IFB, said: “Insurance fraud is a crime and the industry has checks in place to root-out cheats like Abbas.

“Fraud costs us all as honest policyholders and the IFB continues to work with the police to bring fraudsters who pick our pockets to justice. Members of the public can report suspected insurance fraud to the IFB’s confidential Cheatline, by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 422 0421.”