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UK’s Insurance Fraud Bureau

Crash for Cash

Definition: to stage or deliberately cause a road traffic collision solely for the purpose of financial gain.

Costing around £340m a year, 'Crash for Cash' scams are run by fraudsters who manufacture collisions, sometimes with innocent road users, hoping to profit from fraudulent insurance claims. With claims from a single collision potentially worth tens of thousands of pounds, organised fraudsters are orchestrating scams that involve multiple collisions and can be worth millions of pounds.

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Fig 1: The different claims that can make up a 'Crash for Cash' scam.

 

Identifying a 'Crash for Cash' scam

There are 3 different types of scam – Staged Accidents, Induced Accidents and Ghost Accidents.

Tell-tale signs that you've been in a Crash for Cash scam:

  • The other driver is far too calm for someone that's been involved in a car 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 the impact

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
  • Take photos of the incident, if you are able
  • Call the police and report your suspicions
  • Call the IFB's Cheatline on 0800 422 0421 – your information may help us connect your accident to a wider, organised scam.