[Crash for Cash – staged accidents and fraudulent claims]
Organised gangs in Stockport and around the country are staging car crashes to commit insurance fraud.
As part of a national scam criminals are orchestrating accidents to make fraudulent insurance claims. This is called “Crash for Cash”.
View the information and tips below to help you stay safe whilst driving and reduce the likelihood of you being the victim.
Current local hotspots:
- Eden Point roundabout, A34, Stockport
- Centenary Way, Trafford Park, Manchester
What to look out for:
Erratic driving behaviour (i.e. sudden braking, changing lanes, emergency stops)
ACTION: Maintain a safe braking distance from the vehicle in front of you at all times. Maintain the three second rule and don’t let other drivers’ actions affect your good driving style.
Passengers repeatedly looking out the rear window
ACTION: Be aware, the passengers may be advising the driver to suddenly brake when you are too close, ensuring you hit the rear of their vehicle. Maintain a safe braking distance from the vehicle.
Large number of vehicle occupants
ACTION: Keep a safe distance from the vehicle and, if you are involved in an incident, obtain all of their names and note the number of adults and children, as well as where they were sitting.
Brake lights not working (often known as slam on incidents)
ACTION: Maintain a safe braking distance and remember the three second rule. If you are unlucky to be involved in such an incident and it’s safe to do so, take photographs of the brake light units as if the lights were working at the time of impact. The bulbs will normally leave a scorch mark in the light unit; if they don’t have a mark, it’s a potential indicator that they were not working at the time of impact.
“Flash for Cash” (drivers flashing their lights to allow you to access the road but don’t stop and hit your vehicle)
ACTION: Think before proceeding and, if in doubt, wait for a gap in the traffic to complete your manoeuvre.
Staged multiple vehicle collision (your vehicle is shunted into the vehicle in front of you by a rear impact. The rear vehicle is often uninsured or hired so the front vehicle will pursue the middle vehicle – you)
ACTION: Most people will swap insurance details and telephone numbers following an incident. Be aware, as fraudsters often have their insurance and contact details readily available or, alternatively, seem reluctant to provide them. Make a note if either of these occur and if the vehicle is a hire car. Obtain as much information as possible to assist your insurers.
Additional passengers (more people than were involved in the incident appear on the claims report)
ACTION: Note the number of occupants and ask for their names and where they were sat. Be aware of child seats in the vehicle and if they are occupied or not, and of passengers remaining in the vehicle. If safe to do so, whilst taking photographs of the scene capture people involved in the foreground.
Vehicle already damaged or inconsistent damage (fraudsters will try and claim for a more significant impact than occurred, even adding further damage before or after the incident)
Please share this information with other colleagues as well as your friends and family.