There will always be people trying to trick others out of their hard-earned money. The scams surrounding motoring are numerous and constantly adapting and evolving, in particular when it comes to car insurance scams.
Fraudsters will cause accidents to make insurance claims – a phenomenon referred to as ‘crash for cash.’ These bogus insurance claims costs you money as insurance premiums continue to rise. It is estimated that they cost the insurance industry £1.7 million a year. Criminal gangs operate various scams, finding more and more elaborate ways to make money. Here are the ten craziest driving scams to look out for and try to avoid. The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has at least 40 ‘Crash for Cash’ gangs currently under investigation across the UK.
Flash for Cash
This dangerous scam is relatively new and is on the rise. It involves criminals flashing their headlights at junctions to seeming indicate to you that you can proceed. Instead of letting you out though they then crash into you. The ‘flash for cash’ scam is almost impossible to prove as it is one person’s word against another. These scammers tend to target those people they presume won’t put up a fight like mums with children and the elderly.
Parking Space Smash
Similar to the Flash for Cash scam, the scenario plays out like this: you and another driver have seen a parking space at the same time. You both wait and then the other driver kindly waves you on, indicating that you can take the spot. As you head into the spot, they move at the same time and make you crash into them in a way that it makes it look like you are to blame.
This scam involves fraudsters slamming on their brakes suddenly for no reason so that you drive into the back of their vehicle, rear-ending them. This can happen on roundabouts and slip roads. They then make a false insurance claim and reap the financial rewards. Some scammers go as far as removing the bulbs in their brake lights so other drivers don’t even know that they are braking.
There are a number of ways that accidents can be engineered by criminals to look genuine. Fraudsters can pull out at a roundabout or junction giving you no chance to avoid a collision. They then make bogus claims to the innocent motorist’s insurer. The value of the claim can be increased by including fictitious injuries and even stating that passengers were involved when there were none.
After an accident has occurred, either staged or genuine, the scam driver will drive to another location and then proceed to cause extensive damage to their vehicle and claim that the damage happened during the original accident. There are reports that suggest that sledgehammers are used to increase the damage.
False Injury claims
The most common injury associated with car accidents is whiplash. Whiplash is a difficult injury for insurers and medical professionals to prove or disprove. Fraudsters can use this to their advantage, claiming for the injury itself as well as loss of earnings. Passengers will also submit claims for whiplash even though they were not even in the vehicle at the time of the accident.
These witnesses don’t actually witness the car accident you were involved in so they say exactly what the criminal gang need them to say. They will ‘see’ stationary cars pullout or whatever the fraudsters need in order to get away with their insurance scam.
Third Party Capture
You don’t have to worry about criminal gangs this time but the insurers. Third Party Capture is a tactic used by some insurers. You will receive a phone call soon after your accident with the other driver’s insurer offering you a sum of money to settle the claim then and there. By trying to settle the claim directly with you before you’ve had a chance to contact your solicitor, they will save themselves money. The amount offered will be considerably lower than the amount an independent personal injury solicitor could get you.
Fraudulent hit-and-run claims
This scam involves drivers intentionally writing-off their own cars and then claiming that they had been involved in a hit-and-run accident. These cases will usually take place in an area where there are no surveillance cameras so that insurers can’t prove that there was no other vehicle involved.
This scam involves fraudsters creating entirely fictional car accidents. Criminals make insurance claims on accidents that never even happened. They will fabricate all of the details of the incident and then make a claim. Although this does not put you at risk, it is amazing for the sheer cheek of the scammers.
Please share our ’10 Car Insurance Scams to Look Out For’ with your friends and family. The more people are aware of these scams, the more chance there is of making the roads safer for all and for our car insurance premiums to reduce. If you were involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault then call us on The fastest way for you to find out if we can help you is to call us free now on 0800 142 2775 or complete our Free Online Claim Enquiry.