Crash for Cash' Causes Accident Claims Online to Increase

by admin on September 4, 2010

It has been reported that gangs have been causing road traffic accidents up and down England. But police warn that these ‘crash for cash’ fraudsters are moving up into Scotland.

Police and insurers estimate that there are nearly 30,000 bogus compensation claims each year costing nearly £350 million. A knock on effect to these increased accident claims online is an increase in insurance premiums.

Insurance Fraud Bureau director Glen Marr said: “We have a list of 125 hotspot areas where we know networks are operating. The higher up the list, the higher the likelihood of innocent drivers being caught.

“Glasgow comes in at 63 and Edinburgh at 85. So they are on the list and climbing up it, but not at the top. As we target areas of high activity, unfortunately, the pattern is the gangs move on to new areas. So, as some postcodes come down our hotspot list, others go up.”

But how does it work? Often these gangs buy an old car and then disconnect the brake lights. From that point, the fraudster will attempt to orchestrate a road traffic accident which results in you hitting the back of their car.

The remaining gang members then arrive and act as witnesses, harassing you into admitting liability.

“The whole experience can be very distressing and emotional for the driver, who is completely innocent, but they don’t care about that. They will often target vulnerable motorists, such as the elderly, or someone on a mobile phone or who is eating.

“The whole business is very slick and organised. These are professional criminals who, when we do pursue cases, turn out to also be involved in drug and people trafficking and mortgage fraud.

“The worry is they used to only operate in very slow-moving traffic. But they are becoming more aggressive and will now slam on the brakes in much faster-moving and dangerous situations.”

The fraudsters then claim for damage and file personal injury compensation claims.

So what do solicitors recommend you do to avoid these ‘crash for cash’ schemes? Firstly, always keep pen and paper in your car to make notes on. If someone is driving suspiciously, such as speeding then slowing down, avoid them. Make sure you leave plenty of room between you and the car ahead. Try and see if the brake lights of the car in front are working.  Never admit liability. Don’t sign anything, and if in doubt call the police.  Take pictures and notes if you can about the accident (passengers, weather conditions, license plates etc)


About the Author:
Antonia Torr is a graduate from the University of Leicester, with a degree in Law with European Union Law. Having enjoyed writing from a young age, Antonia has received numerous awards that act as a testament to her quality of writing. For Legal help with Accidents Claims Online, please visit our website at http://www.qualitysolicitors.com
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