The “crash for cash” scam isn’t a new thing, but a new variant is sweeping North London — delivery drivers on mopeds. The “traditional” version tends to involve car drivers braking suddenly to make the vehicle behind go into the back of them, but this new type sees moped riders coming out from hiding at the last moment and driving straight into the front of a car.
The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) describes this moped menace as an “epidemic”, with about 2,250 motorists targeted in London in the past two years. The majority of cases have been in North London. Quite apart from the financial impact (insurance firms estimate they’ve paid out at least £27 million in insurance claims for these scams), many of the victims have been left traumatised by the incidents.
Many of the fraudsters are thought to be delivery drivers, often delivering takeaways, and they tend to operate in more affluent areas. They sometimes work with an accomplice, either as a “witness” or providing a van to hide behind and emerge at the last moment to force the crash. They then tend to fake injury, in order to persuade the insurer’s loss adjuster to award them a higher pay-out.
What to Do About Crash for Cash Scams
Mark Allen, head of fraud and financial services at the Association of British Insurers, considers that “Staged crash for cash scams are a dangerous menace on our roads. Often highly organised, and constantly looking for new targets to exploit, these criminals put lives at risk.”
Both the police and the insurance industry are eager to tackle this menace. If you’re involved in an incident you suspect of being a crash for cash scam, you should immediately contact both the police and your insurer. You should also report it to the IFB’s Cheatline on 0800 422 0421.
It’s dangerous enough on the road, without criminals deliberately causing road accidents. Allied Claims offer you our sympathy if you’ve fallen foul of this scam — but reporting it may help the insurance industry make it a less attractive strategy for the fraudsters.
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