Operation Acronym: a quick guide to (some) 'fraud speak'

When we investigate coordinated fraud activity (aka fraud rings) we look for commonalities, relationships and trends that bind claims together. I often think back across the many fraud ring investigations I have been involved in, and the names they are given.

One sticks in my mind. A former colleague named it 'Operation Acronym' because of the sheer number of inter-related CMCs and CHOs that were themselves acronyms. It was as if the naming style of those targets of our investigation became itself an indicator of fraud (of course it didn’t in reality).

Like most industries, the insurance world is itself full of its own acronyms. Little turns of phrase that means something and everything to those fully immersed, but equally nothing to those who look in from the outside. The same can very much be said for the niche world of fraud investigators and litigators.

As I communicate with others across the insurance and risk industry (and beyond) I find it necessary to check myself as I speak to ensure I am understood. This involves simplifying and explaining functions that we ‘fraudies’ take for granted. So, let’s demystify this (not so mysterious) world of fraud. Here is my guide to insurance fraud related acronyms:


Association of British Insurers

An easy one to start...the trade association for British insurance companies. From a fraud perspective the ABI lead the external messaging and inter-insurer initiatives to combat fraud.


Association of British Insurers General Terms of Agreement

A code of practice and agreed rates between subscribing ABI members and hire companies that have signed up to the agreement.


Credit hire organisation

A business that provides credit hire vehicles to claimants following a road traffic accident whose vehicle is damaged and not roadworthy and/or in for repair.


Claims management company

A business that provides support for a claimant by holding their hand through the claims process. A CMC will often introduce the claimant to those that will assist them in bringing and presenting a claim, including solicitors.


Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department

A specialist police unit dedicated to tackling insurance fraud. IFED is funded by the ABI and Lloyds of London members, ​and is hosted by the City of London Police. IFED act with operational independence while working closely with the insurance industry.


Insurance Fraud Register

An industry-wide database of proven fraudsters.


Claims Underwriting Exchange

A database of home, motor and personal injury claims. The database is managed by the MIB.


Insurance Fraud Bureau

An organisation that detects and prevents organised fraud.


Insurance Fraud Investigators Group

A network of counter-fraud individuals and organisations who share intelligence in order to prevent and investigate fraud.


Open Source Intelligence

Is the collection and analysis of information that is gathered from public, or open, sources.


Motor Insurers’ Database

A database maintained by the MIB (see below) to record all insurance policies issued in the UK.


Motor Insurers’ Bureau

MIB was established in 1946 to compensate the victims of negligent uninsured and untraced motorists.


Motor Insurance Anti Fraud & Theft Register

A database to record all total losses of vehicles reported by insurers as a result of accidents and stolen vehicles.


Employers’ Liability Tracing Office

A database of Employers’ Liability policies.


Data Protection Act 2018

The new Act which incorporates the GDPR - the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation which governs the obtaining, handling and use of data in the UK.


Fraud investigation and defence work can be technical and complex and we don’t have to make it more complicated than it already is.

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