Crash for Cash Scams
Find out what you need to know about who is at risk and what you should be looking for to avoid being involved in a Crash for Cash incident...
What is a Crash for Cash scam?
It might seem crazy, but there are people out there who will deliberately try to cause an accident so they can put in a fraudulent personal injury and car insurance claim against you. This not only has the effect of increasing your future car insurance premiums, but also will undoubtedly lead to stress and upset as you navigate the claims process.
There are three main types of Crash for Cash scam, but the one that is most likely to affect the general public is the Induced Accident. Typically, this will involve a fraudster pulling in front of a chosen victim and slamming on the breaks in order to induce a crash from the rear.
There is a lot of money to be made when it comes to Crash for Cash. The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), a not for profit company established in 2006 who work with the insurance industry and law enforcement to bring fraudsters to justice, estimated that Crash for Cash scams cost around £340 million every year. With tens of thousands of pounds to be gained from a single collision and orchestrated multiple collision accidents potentially earning fraudsters millions of pounds, Crash for Cash is a serious business, one you need to be wary of.
Who is at risk?
According to the IFB, organised criminal gangs will usually repeat Crash for Cash scams in the same locations. In 2017, the IFB released its crash for cash hotspots data, listing the UK’s top 30 postcode sites that offer the highest risk. Birmingham had the most represented postcodes, while Bradford and Greater Manchester also scored highly. However, Ben Fletcher, director of the IFB emphasises that although these areas have been greater affected by the Crash for Cash scam, it is a ‘nationwide problem’, one we all need to be watching out for.
How can I avoid being involved in a crash for cash scam?
- Dashcam - One way is to get a dashcam. Police officers are now relying on public dashcam footage for some investigations and the devices can help clear your name if you are the victim of any crash for cash scam.
- Key Warning Signs - Another way is to keep an eye out for key warning signs. Behaviour like travelling at an unusual speed or regularly slowing down and speeding up could be a sign the motorist is looking to cause an incident on purpose.
How to identify if you have been involved in a Crash for Cash scam
The IFB have listed the 3 tell-tale signs that you have been victim to fraudsters:
- The other driver is far too calm for someone that has been involved in a car accident.
- The other driver has already written down their car insurance details before the accident even happened.
- Any injuries appear to be at odds with the force of the accidents impact.
What to do if you think you have been targeted
- Take Pictures - If you believe you have been targeted for a crash for cash scam a great way to minimise the chance of a successful claim against you is to make a note of as much information as possible and take any photos of the incident at the time.
- Note down as much information about the event as you can – the driver, number of passengers and the circumstances.
- Call the police and report your suspicions.
- Call the IFB Cheatline on 0800 422 0421
Is anybody doing anything about these fraudsters?
Most car insurance companies will now have a team that deals with fraudulent car insurance claims and will often work with the claims department and local authorities to determine if the claim is genuine. As previously mentioned, there is also the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) who work with the industry and police to support against insurance fraudsters.
If you think you have been targeted by a Crash for Cash scammer contact the police as soon as possible so they can start to look into it. You can also contact the IFB cheatline network on 0800 422 0421.
With the rise of Crash for Cash scams, it is important that you have the best possible car insurance. Compare car insurance with Asda Money to find the right insurance for you. All levels of car insurance cover are available, including Third Party Only, Third Party Fire and Theft and Fully Comprehensive.