TYCOON Dave Whelan is demanding an end to no win no fee compensation claims after his business was hit by a fraudster.
The sportswear company boss was furious after a gym customer tried to make a false injury claim against his DW Sports Fitness gym chain and sue it for hundreds of pounds.
However the scam was blown apart when a photo of the finger gash that had supposedly been sustained in a changing room was recognised by a member of staff as a frequently-viewed angle grinder injury image that can be found on Google Images. The claimant himself had in fact sustained a paper cut that was merely remedied with a small sticking plaster!
He was subsequently arrested by the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), which is part of the City of London Police, after Pemberton-based DW Sports Fitness reported him and he was later cautioned for committing fraud by false representation.
The 28-year-old said that he had badly cut his finger in a changing room in the DW Fitness gym in Cardiff and submitted the online image to support his £500 claim.
Signs have now gone up in the reception area of all DW gyms, condemning the bogus claimant and warning would-be tricksters that all claims will be thoroughly investigated and, if proved false, they will have membership revoked immediately.
Mr Whelan said the attempted fraud was part of a bigger issue, adding: “It needs to start with these solicitors who are abusing rules and regulations unmercifully.
“It is simply saying to people, come and have a go by having no win no fee.
“It started with car insurance claims which have seen premiums rocket and these days you can claim for somebody throwing chewing gum on your car – it’s ridiculous.”
FULL STORY IN THE WIGAN EVENING POST (WEDNESDAY) ...