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Crash for Cash Awareness Day - 29 January 2018

29 January 2018

IFB reveal 29 January as the day you’re most likely to be a victim of crash for cash

  • 29 January named as Crash for Cash Awareness Day - the day you’re most likely to be hit by a crash for cash scam
  • Motorists warned to remain vigilant and watch out for the tell-tale signs

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The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) is warning motorists to be extra vigilant on the roads after analysis reveals that 29 January is the day you are most likely to be targeted by a crash for cash fraudster.

29 January ‘Crash for Cash Awareness Day’ aims to highlight the issue of crash for cash scams, and to ensure motorists take extra care on the roads. IFB estimates that crash for cash scams cost £340 million every year, and put the lives of innocent motorists at risk.

Drivers are warned to remain wary of induced accidents, where fraudsters deliberately try to make an innocent motorist crash in to them in order to make fake insurance claims. In these types of scams, fraudsters will often driveerratically, slamming on their brakes for no obvious reason in order to cause the car behind to collide into them. In other cases, fraudsters may use a second ‘decoy vehicle’ to make a sudden, apparently unexpected manoeuvre. The other vehicle involved in the scam, following behind the decoy, will then slam on their brakes in the hope that the intended victim won’t be able to stop in time. The decoy car will then typically disappear, making it difficult to prove it was ever part of the scam.

Fraudsters will then submit insurance claims often exaggerating their injuries and claiming for multiple ‘phantom’ passengers who may not have ever been in the car at the time. These claims often run into thousands of pounds’.

Organised criminal gangs often repeat crash for cash scams in a number of locations. Last year, the IFB released its crash for cash hotspots data, revealing the UK’s top 30 most high risk postcode districts for crash for cash scams. Birmingham had the highest representation on the map, with Greater Manchester and Bradford also featuring multiple times.

“Crash for Cash Awareness Day hopes to highlight the problem and raise awareness amongst the general public about this potentially lethal crime,” says Ben Fletcher, Director of the IFB. “While the hotspots data highlighted the worst affected areas, crash for cash is a nationwide problem. At the IFB, we work hard to detect organised insurance fraud, often leading to custodial sentences for these dangerous fraudsters. It’s important that we continue to do so and by working together with Police and insurers, we can bring these fraudsters to justice.”

Discussing the issue of crash for cash, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fyfe, Head of the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), comments:“Fraudsters involved in ‘crash for cash’ fraud have no consideration for the consequences of their actions and place financial gain above all else. Not only do they put the safety of innocent people at risk in a bid to make money, but they also cause financial harm to the insurance industry, driving up the cost of insurance premiums for all motorists.

“The Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department have investigated a large number of ‘crash for cash’ cases since its inception in 2012, and by working together with the IFB and the wider insurance industry, we will continue to catch these criminals and ensure they’re brought to justice. It’s also vital that we keep warning people about this type of fraud and IFB’s awareness day is a great way of spreading the key safety messages.”

Supporting the awareness campaign, James Dalton, Director of General Insurance Policy at the Association of British Insurers (ABI) adds: “Crash for cash criminals are a menace on our roads. They put the lives of innocent motorists and their passengers at risk. These scams usually involve highly organised criminal gangs, often funding other serious criminal activity. This is why there will be no let-up in the industry’s crackdown on this danger to make roads safer for law-abiding motorists.”

If you believe you have been a victim of crash for cash, note as much information as you can about the event, take photos if it is safe to do so, call the police and report your suspicions. You can also report the incident to the IFB’s Cheatline by calling 0800 422 0421.

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