The ‘Crash for Cash’ scam that is costing innocent drivers millions every year

Costing around £400m a year, ‘crash for cash’ scams are run by fraudsters that stage or deliberately cause a road traffic collision, often with innocent road users, hoping to profit from fraudulent insurance claims. Claims from a single collision can potentially be worth tens of thousands of pounds, organised fraudsters are staging multiple scams that involve multiple collisions and can be worth millions of pounds.

Crash for cash scams are not a victimless crime and as honest policyholders we pick up a collective bill for fraud through increased premiums. However, how do you know when you’ve been victim to a genuine collision, or if you’ve been the latest target of these con men?

Look out for these suspicious signs you’ve been in a crash for cash scam:

– The other driver is far too calm for someone that’s been involved in an accident
– They have already written down their insurance details before the accident happened
– Any injuries appear to be completely at odds with the force of impact

How can you prevent yourself from being a target? 
Remember the wise words of your driving instructors- drive safely and pay attention at all times! Keep your distance from the car in front and always anticipate the road (and any potential hazards) ahead. The better and safer you drive, the less excuse you give the fraudsters to target you.

What to do if you think you’ve been targeted:
– Note as much information as you can about the event, the driver, any passengers and the circumstances. Some fraudsters will invent ‘invisible’ passengers when it’s time to contact the insurers so they can claim a bit more. 

– Take photos of the incident, if you are able to
– Call the police and report your suspicions
– Call the IFB’s cheatline on 0800 422 0421

And the criminals?
Punishments for fraudulent claims are harsh and the consequences are long-term. They will likely get a ‘fraud mark’ added to their driving license, not only voiding their current car insurance but meaning they will be paying much higher premiums for years to come. Some face imprisonment, driving suspensions, unpaid work and costs in excess of £1000.

And if it’s advice you’re after then feel free to give your local branch a call


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