Crash for cash has been in the news a lot recently.
What is crash for cash?
Staged accidents that force drivers to crash into the back of vehicles. Who have braked harshly for no clear reason. (Unbelievable, I know!)
Why are criminals committing these crimes?
They make money on insurance. They can also claim for personal injury.
Tell me more…
- When Approaching a roundabout, junction or intersection. The criminal will suddenly brake leading to a rear end collision.
- Using a no-stop’ vehicle driven erratically by one gang member. Causing a car driven by another member to break violently. Immediately in front of a vehicle leading to a rear-end collision.
How Can Crash For Cash Affect Me?
- After the staged accident. The criminals claim compensation.
- There are usually fake witnesses involved. Also, other people involved in the scam. For injuries, vehicle damage, replacement vehicle hire, loss of earnings and other costs.
- Criminals can claim a whopping £20,000 to £40,000!
- The consequences of staged accidents include the risk of serious injury or even death.
- There is also the trauma of dealing with the consequences of an accident. That was not the fault of the driver.
- This claim may lead to a rise in insurance premiums and a negative effect on no claims bonuses.
What Can You Do To Prevent This Scam Happening To You?
- Concentrate when driving – do not use your mobile phone. Or be distracted when driving. This could really work against you when trying to prove liability.
- Never tailgate – always allow plenty of space between you and the car ahead.
- Look beyond the car in front – If you see erratic driving up ahead, slow down. Be ready to brake hard. Remember the intended victim might be you!
- Fit forward-facing video cameras – put stickers on the back of your vehicle to make other drivers aware.
What Should You Do If You Suspect You Are Involved in A Crash For Cash Scam?
- As well as exchanging names, addresses, insurance details and so on.
- Stay calm – think clearly and, as with any accident. Don’t admit liability.
- If a ‘no-stop’ vehicle is involved, try to get its registration number. Or at least a brief description.
- Call the police – be careful in the manner you do this as you may be dealing with criminals.
- If there’s the slightest indication of injury – call an ambulance as well. Keep an eye on how the possible criminals behave when you call the emergency services.
- Use your mobile phone – photograph the scene. Road markings and any damage to the car involved.
- Count and make a note the number of occupants in the other car – the number can grow in the days following the accident. (shocking I know!)
- Get the names, addresses, and dates of birth of all the occupants and make a note of where they were sitting in the car.
- Be very careful about photographing the car’s occupants – though if the victims accidentally get into your shots. (That might prove useful)!
- Look for independent witnesses – avoid anyone who’s too enthusiastic! They could be part of the scam. Make a note of their names and addresses.
- Look for CCTV cameras in the area – tell your insurer as soon as possible. So there is a good chance of recovering footage.
- Call the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) Cheatline on 0800 422 0421
Crash For Cash Sentencing
- These facts and figures are interesting. They show you the reality of the crash for cash scam.
- Sentences including over 91 years’ imprisonment.
- Operations have to date resulted in over 500 arrests.
- 119 criminal convictions.
- Undetected insurance fraud costs the industry up to £2 billion a year.
- On average, adding an extra £44 a year to the insurance bill for every UK policyholder. In the last five years. Road traffic accidents have decreased by 23%. But claims have increased by 70%. (According to the Department for Transport).
- Britain is now the whiplash capital of Europe. 1,500 claims are made every day.
Crash For Cash Hotspots
The crash for cash hotspots are…
Looking at the top 30 list Midlands and the north are more likely to be involved in a crash for cash scam than their southern counterparts.
Liverpool, Blackburn, Bolton, and Wakefield all feature in the top 30. As well as London and Enfield in the south.