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Bus ‘crash for cash’ scam – four arrested

04 July 2012

The Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) has arrested four men in Liverpool believed to be part of a suspected ‘crash for cash’ scam involving a bus.

Early this morning detectives from City of London Police’s IFED arrested two suspects – aged 35 and 20 – in Liverpool city centre, which follows two men being detained last month.

Service Insurance worked alongside the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) to investigate a series of suspicious claims before referring the case to IFED. Service Insurance became suspicious of a batch of personal injury claims from a group of 30 people who had all been travelling by coach to Belle Vue dog track, located on the edge of Manchester.

En-route, the bus driver was told to pull-over on the M57 by passengers who said the coach had been hit from behind by a car. The coach driver said he had felt no impact.

There was only superficial damage to both vehicles, but the group decided to cancel their trip saying they felt unwell and asked to be taken back to the pub where they had been collected.

Before leaving the coach, every passenger confirmed to the driver that they had been injured and gave him their personal details.

David Taylor, Claims Validation Co-ordinator at Service Insurance, said:

“We take any attempt to defraud the claims fund of Service Insurance Company or any of our clients very seriously indeed. We handled this particular case for Mulsanne Insurance Company Ltd and we have a duty to their innocent policyholders and indeed the general public to diligently detect, investigate and disrupt both opportunistic and organised fraud.

“Our collaboration with the IFB has proved invaluable in the investigation of this case and this ‘joined forces’ approach with the IFED has resulted in an excellent outcome.”

Phil Bird, Director of the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), said:

“Fraud is not a victimless crime. As honest policyholders, we all pick up the bill for fraudsters. Pre-planned scams like this cost the industry £350 million every year and the IFB plays a key role in gathering the evidence against those who try to abuse the system.

“Working alongside IFED and other UK police forces, more and more fraudsters are facing the full force of the law.

“If you suspect anyone of committing insurance fraud, you can report them to the IFB’s free and confidential Cheatline on 0800 422 0421 or online at www.insurancefraudbureau.org/report.”  

All four men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud and questioned at a Liverpool police station.

Head of IFED, Detective Chief Inspector Dave Wood, said:

“Crash for cash is costing the industry hundreds of millions of pounds and is responsible for putting a higher price on every driver’s insurance premium and posing a safety risk to road-users.

“The problem seems to be particularly prevalent in the North West and IFED making repeated arrests in the region is evidence of how determined we are to tackle this culture of criminality right across the country.”

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