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IFB announces the UK’s Crash for Cash hotspots

25 September 2017

  • The IFB has released new Crash for Cash Hotspots data
  • The data reveals the UK’s top 30 most high risk postcode districts for crash for cash scams
  • Birmingham, Manchester and Bradford feature heavily on the list

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has released Crash for Cash hotspots data, revealing the UK’s top 30 postcode districts in the UK that are hotbeds for these life-endangering, fraudulent scams. 

New data from the IFB shows that the majority of the top 30 postcode districts are located in the Midlands or the North of England. Birmingham has the highest level of representation on the map, with ten postcode districts featuring, five of which are in listed in the top 10.

Postcode districts in the Manchester postal area also feature prominently on the list, with five postcodes in the top 30. Surrounding area Oldham also features twice, as well as Bolton postcode BL3 being included on the list. Major cities Sheffield and Liverpool both have one postcode district featured in the top 30, Bradford in West Yorkshire also features as a hotbed, with five postcodes. Nearby Wakefield postcode WF13 also appears as number 20 on the list. 

N18 in London is the southernmost postcode, with only three postcodes from London featuring in the top 30. 

Crash for cash scams are where a fraudster, or group of fraudsters, stages an accident by deliberately damaging a vehicle (often with a sledge hammer or blunt object) or induces a collision on the road, solely for the purpose of financial gain.

These criminals often target innocent road users in order to profit from fraudulent insurance claims, putting motorist’s lives at risk. Fraudulent motor claims submitted following the accident can also result in false personal injury and credit hire claims. Such scams are estimated to cost the industry £336 million each year, with a single collision potentially worth tens of thousands of pounds.

The IFB is committed to detecting and disrupting these scams, and the hotspots data serves to highlight the key postcode districts that are high risk for this type of fraud. By working closely with Police and insurers, IFB is clamping down on these criminals and ultimately taking them off the roads and putting them behind bars.

Ben Fletcher, Director of the IFB says “These scams may seem to some to be a harmless way to beat the system and get an easy pay out with minimal risk. The reality is that not only do those people now stand a very good chance of getting caught and facing the consequences, but these scams put other motorist’s lives at risk. Fraudsters are taking vehicles out on public roads and forcing innocent people into needless collisions. Not only does that present a real risk of injury, but sadly we know of at least one fatality that has occurred as a result of these incredibly dangerous and reckless incidents. These hotspots may be the worst affected areas for these types of scams, but crash for cash collisions can happen anywhere, so it’s imperative that road users are aware of them, exercise appropriate caution and if they believe they’ve been a victim, report it as soon as they can”.

Motorists should remain vigilant to the tell-tale signs of a crash for cash scam which can include:

  • the other driver being far too calm for someone that’s been involved in a car accident
  • the driver having already written down their insurance details prior to the accident
  • any claimed injuries appearing to be completely at odds with the force of the impact.

If an individual believes they have been the victim of a crash for cash scam, they should note as much information as possible about the event and take photos at the scene if it safe to do so. They can also call the Police to report their suspicions and report it to the IFB’s Cheatline either online or by calling the free phone number 0800 422 0421. Such information could prove vital in helping the IFB tie the accident to a wider, organised scam.

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