Criminals gangs tricking motorists before intentionally crashing into them
Investigators are warning about a new tactic by criminal gangs, dubbed ‘flash for cash’, where a driver flashes their lights to let another driver out of a junction, and then crashes into them deliberately.
The criminals then make money by putting in false personal injury claims for whiplash and loss of earnings, as well as submitting fake bills for vehicle recovery, repair and replacement car hire.
The Asset Protection Unit, which investigates fraud in collaboration with police and the insurance sector, has warned that the fraudsters often target elderly motorists or women with young children – drivers they believe will not challenge them on the scene.
And the new scam is harder to prove in court, because it comes down to the innocent driver’s word against the criminal’s that they flashed their lights to let them out.
The number of flash for crash scams are not known, but the IFB estimates that 380 fraudulent personal injury claims from deliberate crashes are made every day and cost the motor insurance industry £392m every year.
Detective inspector Dave Hindmarsh from the Metropolitan Police told the BBC: “[There are] emotional costs if you’re involved in a crash: you could well lose your confidence, and if your passengers are children they may well become wary of being passengers in cars, and of course you may get injured or killed.
“It’s an extra £50 to £100 on every person’s premium, so that’s a financial cost.”
This article has been taken from The Insurance Times dated 16th August 2013