‘Be vigilant and be aware’: Rise in ‘crash for cash’ scams expected after lockdown easing

‘Be vigilant and be aware’: Rise in ‘crash for cash’ scams expected after lockdown easing

According to Ageas Insurance, more induced road collisions are expected over the coming weeks and months following Freedom Day. Cases rose by 150 percent when the first national lockdown was lifted in 2020 and Ageas Insurance is expecting another rise.

Induced collisions are when a fraudster orchestrates an incident with an innocent victim to generate a claim.

This is often when a motorist deliberately brakes in front of another to cause them to crash into their vehicle.

These induced road collisions or “crash for cash” scams are most prominent in Birmingham, according to the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB).

The IFB released a list of hotspots for the scam, with Leicester, Coventry, Nottingham, Sheffield and London all appearing as having high prevalence of the crime.

READ MORE: Lambeth tops chart of car theft crime as London dominates

“We’ve been told of some instances where the scammers are quite aggressive after the accident; no doubt as a way of intimidating the victim and tricking them into acting so quickly that they don’t have time to question the events that have just happened.” 

Other signs can include the other person driving erratically, including sharp braking, as well as them over exaggerating their injuries after the collision.

The top three most high-risk postcodes for “crash for cash” scams were in Birmingham, who made up four of the top ten places.

Bradford was responsible for three of the top ten, with Walsall, Blackburn and Romford all appearing once.

The IFB analysed 2.7 million motor insurance claims across the UK between October 2019 and December 2020 and found that over 170,000 claims could be linked to suspected “crash for cash” networks.

IFB investigations have found single gangs can be behind thousands of orchestrated collisions in some areas, with the combined value of their fraudulent claims running into the millions. 

Stephen Dalton, Head of Intelligence and Investigations at the IFB, said: “As traffic levels continue to get back to normal, drivers should be cautious of ‘Crash for Cash’ scams on the road as fraudsters may sadly be looking to make up for lost time.

“It’s essential that drivers follow safe-driving guidelines to help prevent themselves from falling victim to this dangerous scam.”

In December 2020, a man from Birmingham received a two-year suspended sentence for five “crash for cash” scams.

He had used his position as the Director of a car hire company to produce fake engineer reports over a two-year period. 

Stephanie Dalton said that the sentencing should “serve as a clear message to anyone thinking about committing fraud that they will be caught and face justice.”

Ageas Insurance issued advice for anyone who may have been involved in such a scam, including not to confront the other driver.

The company said it is also vital to get as much information as quickly as possible, especially from the other person involved in the crash, any bystanders, and as much detail about the crash as they can remember.

If there is an accident, the police should be contacted immediately, as well as the insurance company.

Published at Mon, 19 Jul 2021 14:00:37 +0000