Aviva Canada warns Canadians about fraudulent "pink slips"
TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2013 /CNW/ - Aviva Canada, one of the country's
leading providers of home, auto, recreational vehicle, group and
business insurance, is warning Canadians about the risks of insurance
deals that seem too good to be true.
In cooperation with the Toronto Police Service, Aviva Canada is
releasing details of a recent insurance scam that has left individuals
without auto insurance coverage and cost them hundreds and, in some
cases, thousands of dollars.
"With the anonymity and ease of classified websites, we have seen a
sharp increase in the amount of fake motor vehicle liability insurance
cards, also known as pink slips, being sold online," said James
Russell, Chief Underwriting Officer for Aviva Canada. "Consumers need
to be aware that some individuals have made a business out of
defrauding others and use this type of scam as a regular source of
Serafattin (George) Solak has been charged with:
1 count of Fraud over $5,000
13 counts of Fraud under $5,000
8 counts of Uttering a Forged Document
4 counts of Misleading Receipts
8 provincial charges of Sell, Give, Distribute Insurance Card
On September 10, 2013, Toronto Police Service officers arrested Mr.
Solak outside of his Edmonton home. The arrest was possible after Aviva
Canada worked with the Toronto Police Service and the Ontario Crown
Attorney's office to uncover sufficient evidence for a Canada-wide
warrant. He was returned to Toronto on September 11, 2013, and was
taken directly to 31 Division. He is currently in custody awaiting a
court appearance in a Toronto courtroom. During the arrest, police
officers seized fraudulent Aviva Canada motor vehicle insurance
"We want to emphasize that the charges against Mr. Solak are just one
instance. Other would-be criminals are trying this over and over
again," continued Russell. "What people are buying from these
individuals is not insurance - it's just a piece of paper that comes
with a big risk. Any driver using a fake insurance slip instead of
securing valid coverage could potentially be sued for millions of
The charges were laid by Toronto Police Service after Aviva Canada
provided evidence of fraudulent activity. It is alleged the Mr. Solak
advertised insurance for sale on various online classified websites
including Kijiji and Craigslist. It is also alleged that he met with a
number of potential victims in person, accepted cash or cheques and
provided false motor vehicle liability insurance cards.
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario has also issued a public warning about Mr. Solak and his connection to a fake insurance scam.
What happens to those who are caught with false insurance?
Having false insurance means a driver has no insurance at all, which is
illegal. If it is discovered that a driver has a false insurance card,
they could be charged with a criminal offence, possibly leading to
first-time penalties of:
A minimum $5,000 fine, up to a maximum of $25,000.
Vehicle seizure for up to three months, with the owner responsible for
all storage costs.
Driver's license suspension for up to one year.
For a second conviction the minimum fines double, and there is the
possibility of being charged with a criminal offence.
What happens to those who have false insurance and who are involved in
an auto collision?
Those having a false insurance card (meaning no valid insurance) and are
involved in a vehicle collision:
Will not be covered for any collision damage to their vehicle.
Are not eligible to sue anyone else for damage to their vehicle or
bodily injury, even if they weren't at fault.
Can be sued for damage to the other vehicles involved in, or for bodily
injuries that resulted from, the accident and will be held personally
liable leading to wage garnishing or property liens.
It is also important to note that if a family member or friend is
driving the falsely insured vehicle, they can be charged and/or sued
What can consumers do to protect themselves?
Be mindful that if a deal seems too good to be true, it likely is.
Never purchase insurance with cash.
Call the company listed on the policy to ensure it is valid.
Never meet in a public place with someone that claims to be an insurance
representative. Insurance brokers or insurers will have branded
websites and/or an office; they will not likely ask to make a
transaction in a public place.
Remember that even if the motor vehicle liability insurance card looks
legitimate, it could still be a fake.
Report it, report it, report it! If enough consumers alert authorities
of this activity, fraudsters will be easier to capture and convict.
Call the Insurance Bureau of Canada's TIPS line at 1.877.IBC.TIPS, the
Financial Services Commission of Ontario's Fraud Hotline www.fsco.gov.on.ca/TipNow or call 1-855-5TIP-NOW, or Crime Stoppers (1-800-222-TIPS).
What Aviva Canada is doing to fight fraud
Building on already strong capabilities, Aviva Canada has stepped up its
tough approach to tackling fraud with more dedicated resources and an
investment in technology that aims to identify fraud and even
anticipate the potential for fraud before it happens. With an
industry-leading anti-fraud team, plus solid public sector and industry
collaboration, Aviva Canada is well positioned to combat fraud better
than ever before. The impact of Insurance fraud in Canada is estimated
at over $1.6 billion dollars annually.
About Aviva Canada
Aviva Canada is one of the leading Property and Casualty insurance
groups in Canada providing home, automobile, recreational vehicle,
group and business insurance to more than three million customers. A
wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more
than 3,000 employees, 25 locations and 1,700 independent broker
partners. Aviva Canada and its employees invest in positive change
including through the Aviva Community Fund and Eva's Initiatives, its
partner in Aviva's global Street to School program to help homeless and
other at-risk youth reach their potential.
For more information visit AvivaCanada.com, our blog or our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.
SOURCE: Aviva Canada Inc.
For further information:
Senior Manager, Public Relations and Social Media
Aviva Canada Inc.
Desk: (416) 288-2685, Mobile: (416) 523-3225