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How to Spot a Crash-For-Cash Scam

Crash for Cash or deliberately staging traffic accidents for financial gains is big business in the UK

Crash for Cash or deliberately staging traffic accidents for financial gains is big business in the UK and, according to the Insurance Fraud Bureau, costs in the region of £340m a year.

The scams are run by fraudsters who manufacture crashes, often with innocent motorists, in order to profit from a false insurance claim. And with a single collision potentially worth tens of thousands of pounds, these organised criminals are orchestrating multiple accidents that can be worth millions. In fact, the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) claims that in 2015 there were 55,573 personal injury claims linked to suspected Crash for Cash scams.

So, how does it all work and what should you look out for to avoid becoming a target or victim? In order to benefit from false insurance claims, these gangs adopt one of three approaches. The first is the ‘Staged’ accident where two vehicles both belonging to criminals are deliberately crashed together away from public view. At times, they have simply taken a sledge hammer to the cars to mimic the effects of a genuine crash.

The second method is the ‘Induced’ accident whereby an innocent motorist is targeted. The most common bumps on our roads involve a car being shunted from behind and the driver of the following car is generally deemed at fault for failing to stop. In these incidents, the criminal will deliberately cause an accident often by pulling out in front of the innocent victim and slamming the brakes on. Sometimes the brake lights have been disabled so the following driver gets the minimal amount of warning. Fake witnesses and decoy vehicles have also become part of the sophisticated plot to make the accident seem authentic.

The final fraudulent method is the ‘Ghost’ accident which is a paper-based fraud involving fabricated claims for accidents that never actually took place.

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According to the IFB, there are some tell-tale signs to look out for to avoid a Crash for Cash scam. For example, if the other driver is far too calm to have been in a real accident; they already have all their insurance details ready when you get out the vehicle or if any injuries seem too exaggerated for the severity of the accident.

If you think you have been targeted you should make a note of as much information about the accident, other driver, any passengers or other witnesses. Try to take photos of the accident scene if possible, call the police and report your Crash for Cash suspicions.

These latest warnings to motorists come after two dangerous insurance fraudsters were jailed for 18 years collectively for their crimes around the Slough area.

In the joint investigation between the IFB, the insurance industry and Thames Valley Police, one of the largest Crash for Cash operations ever was discovered. It was revealed that the fraudsters went to great lengths to conceal their crimes using false details to insure vehicles and creating hundreds of fake driving licences and passports so claims could be submitted under different names and addresses. The gang scrapped more than 80 vehicles at the same scrapyard in an attempt to cover their tracks and the IFB were able to identify more than 500 deliberate crashes where fraudulent policies had been taken out.

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Following a four-week trial at Reading Crown Court, Boota Ram, of Faraday Road, Slough, was sentenced to nine years imprisonment for Conspiracy to Commit Fraud to be served concurrently with two additional three-year sentences for possession of articles for the Use in Fraud and Gagandeep Gagandeep, also of Faraday Road, Slough, was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for Conspiracy to Commit Fraud.

Jason Potter, Head of Investigations, said: “It’s lucky that no-one was more seriously hurt in this greedy and dangerous scam. These criminals put the lives of people in their own neighbourhood in danger, deliberately colliding with innocent members of the public just to line their own pockets. This scam was worth millions, and it’s down to the hard work, tenacity and patience of all those involved that have ensured these fraudsters have been held accountable for their crimes.” 

They should have all their Possetions Confiscated to stop them bebifiting from these Crimes ?

My daughter was involved in a cash for crash. THE POLICE WERE NOT INTERESTED. She has a degree in forensics and started her own investigation. She found EIGHTY cases in a very short radius. She lost her no claims bonus and had to pay her excess. Luckily she photographed the driver and occupants. She followed up through facebook. They were targetting single women with children. More investigation and these criminals were also driving past peoples houses swopping drivers as they had address details. More investigations and at the time of telling police there were TWO other cars at the side of the road less than a few miles apart who were victims. My daughter then received a solicitors letter claiming damages. (dropped suddenly) Insurance fraud were involved but it took a long time before the police got involved. Under the stupid data protection laws you can imagine how much info she got. ZILCH. Who was the loser ? My daughter. Who was benefitting ? The insurance company as they never lose (just increase premiums) car hire companies, motor traders offering less for accident damaged cars, bodywork repairers . etc etc. Just for info the accident happened as they exited a roundabout on a road clear of obstructions. And where are they also placing light controlled pedestrian crossings these days ? Yep right on the exit of roundabouts.

Put these SCUMBAGS away for longer sentences. They need to rot in hell for all of the pain & heart-ache they cause everyday people. Stories like this infuriate me, as an honest and considerate motorist......

I was involved in an accident. The other car was scratched down the nearside door. Not a mark on my car. The other driver claimed a side on collision and whiplash. Several weeks later, my insurance company sent an investigator round to my home, photographed the car from every angle, even under the bonnet, don't know why? Guess what, My insurance paid out and slapped me with a premium hike on renewal. I complained and was told that in the few weeks before my car was photographed by their engineer, they had paid out for damage, but not for the whiplash. The other driver dropped that claim. But they weren't going to lose out. So they hiked my premium. So I went with another company and the claim even followed me there. But it was still cheaper to insure through the new company. The whole insurance business is suspect.

well this all comes down to the insurance companies their lack of background checks,never insure anyone without checking funny how most of the culprits are of asian stock.

better to strip them of their citizenship and deport back to the third world.

yes, their sir names says it all, no doubt some bright spark will play the race card though

I was stationery in traffic on the M25 when the car in front deliberately reversed into me. Two men jumped out shouting "What the h*ll do you think you're doing?". When I pointed out that they were at fault they became threatening, and started taking photographs, and eventually I felt that I needed to lock myself into my car. I was able to find some witnesses who would back my story, and they then changed their tune. I'd already called the police to report that my wife and I felt threatened, but we were able to move on before they got back to us. Because the matter had already been reported to the local police I couldn't get the police in my area to take an interest in the potential fraud.

Burn 'em alive.

The insurance industry, like so many British institutions, assume users are Law-abiding, God-fearing, honest citizens. In the old days home grown villains would sometimes exploit this weakness but rarely would they do so in an organised way and so the dent they made didn't make it worthwhile to make significant changes or to dispense with the reliance on trust. Since those heady days our society has seen millions arrive here, many who bring with them a culture of taking advantage in a most organised way of anything running on trust, for instance our Welfare system has been systematically plundered of many millions that has gone to fund business startups for principally Asian immigrants... The assumption the guy who rear-ends another guy in an RTA is the guilty party should have ended the moment that episode of the Rockford Files was aired here that showed Jim Rockford reversing into another car and telling the cops he had been rear-ended. Much of today's motor insurance trouble has been caused by the insurance market being too diverse, adopting knock-for-knock and using independent assessors instead of using their own and approved repairers that are trusted to get on with repairs under a certain amount. Insurers want a profitable life without anyone rocking the boat too much - it is easy for them to pass on extra costs to the customer. I have a brilliant idea to improve things - pass a law that says people can only get motor insurance if the papers are brought to the policy holder's home, signed there and the first payment is paid there. Strangely that seems familiar...

Don't give insurance to anyone called Boota Ram because his name gives you a clue to what he's up to!

Not at all good to learn of events like these and hear of all of the heartache of victims. There certainly needs to be some way that this can be brought under control. As it has already been mentioned, the insurance companies do not suffer as they simply increase premiums to cover their costs and rake in their profits. The people suffering are therefore ordinary motorists. What I do object to is folks pointing the finger at people of Asian descent. Please be aware that we are not all the same! Our particular families have been here in the UK since the 1930's and we are all decent, educated, hard working and law abiding members of the community...

I agree with that. There is good and bad in every strata of society.

As result of the changes to the criminal reform bill, the amount people can claim for whiplash will be significantly less, you are looking at £350 compared to £1500-2k,,,you also will not be able to claim solicitors fees, and will have to be in litigant in person to make a claim unless you go through the new portal which is yet to be set up. Crash for cash will pretty much stop in the next 6-8 months.

Criminal scumbags that should get a proper job if they want money. How much lower are some people going to get?.

But but I will play the literacy one! If you are going to comment please learn to spell. Sir names? I believe the word you need is surname.

Yeah I aggree with every 1- sen um bak ta wear dee comes frum........................... but he was born in Glasgow!!! the words sarcasm and illiterate might be appropriate for the above! I have been off work (not claiming benefits I may add) for the last 9 months with a broken back and two ruptured Sacroiliac Joints. Would you believe no asians, non-white or even LBGT community members were involved with the incident , just a guy ,(White, middle aged, middle class male) who wanted to use the toilets in McDonalds and didn't look behind him before he reversed at speed through my car. Luckily I had a Dashcam which clearly defined blame. If you think we have it bad in the UK try visiting Russia or Romania or search YouTube. My personal advise, get a Dashcam and keep your wits about you and remember every other driver on the road is a complete Dick! Hopefully these words will help you to survive your next car jouney.