Insurance and assistance company CPP says British consumers are willing to make false insurance claims on their mobile phones in order to get the latest handsets.
It says the number of phones reported missing in May and June 2009 rose by 11%, which is when the Apple iPhone 3G was released. However, just 4% of mobile users say they’d be prepared to file a dishonest claim to get their hands on a new phone.
Even with an element of doubt about the number of fraudulent insurance claims made, mobile phone theft is certainly a problem for the UK. 20% of people in Edinburgh and Sheffield have been the victims of mobile phone theft, 8% of Londoners and 6% in Cardiff & Liverpool.
In fact, 21% of Brits have had their phones lost or stolen more than once. Almost a quarter of all mobile theft victims were pick-pocketed, one in five had their phones taken from pub or restaurant tables and 5% had handsets stolen from their office desks.
Danny Harrison, Head of Mobile at CPP, said "The fact that we’ve seen a spike in claims when the iPhone 3G hit the market confirms that for some, making a fraudulent claim is an easy way to get their hands on the latest handset. It may be tempting to submit a false claim, especially when so many new valuable handsets are hitting the market. But people need to be aware that it is illegal to report a lost phone as stolen property and it could result in a police conviction. We urge all mobile users to be alert to the methods that desperate criminals can resort to, to keep their mobiles secure when going out to prevent theft and avoid being careless and losing them unnecessarily."