Fraudsters are putting people at risk on the roads by causing accidents in order to make false insurance claims.
In the latest “crash for cash” scam, innocent drivers are being flashed at junctions to make them pull out and then the flashing driver deliberately crashes into them.
Once the victim responds to a flash and moves out to join the main road, the fraudster will speed up to hit the victim’s car side-on, making it look like their fault.
Anyone who has been hurt and suspects they are a victim of such a scam can make a valid road traffic accident claim.
‘Flash for crash’
New information shows gangs operating the “flash for crash” scam target their victims in shops, petrol stations and car parks, waiting for them to come out before orchestrating the crash. Anti-fraud investigators, the Asset Protection Unit (APU), said it is a growing trend this year.
A spokesman for the APU, Neil Thomas, said: “It is yet another example of how criminal gangs are becoming more sophisticated and attempting to stay one step ahead of suspicion.”
He went on: “The adoption of flashing headlights and beckoning the driver results in a ‘your word against mine’ situation when it comes to apportioning blame.”
He warned that turning across another driver is not allowed under the law, so the blame often lies with the person who pulled out when it comes to accident claims.
Accident claim ‘crash gangs’
Around 49 gangs are suspected of carrying out the crashes, making £66 million worth of false claims for whiplash injuries and other costs falsely linked to the accident. Around 380 false insurance claims are made each day, pushing up insurance premiums and making it more difficult for people with genuine personal injury claims to find justice.
Kerry Michael at the RAC said: “This kind of fraud is manipulative and can be incredibly traumatic for the innocent individuals who get embroiled in claims against them, which are usually for whiplash and personal injury – not for damage to the car as you might think.
“While this may seem like an individual act of selfishness or stupidity, often this kind of behaviour is linked to serious, organised crime.”
Kerry urged people to “have their wits about them as much as the situation will allow” following an accident they suspect is linked to the the gangs. Consulting a solicitor about any accident claim filed against you – or about a personal injury claim you may need to file yourself following such an incident – is advisable.
Source: BBC News
Date Published: August 17, 2013
Author: David Brown