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Crash for cash hotspots

The Insurance Fraud Bureau and Crimestoppers are alerting motorists to the UK ‘Crash for Cash’ hotspots and are appealing for information on those making bogus claims, in a crime that collectively costs policyholders over £390 million every year.

Motorists in a number of hotspot areas are being warned to be particularly vigilant as these cities include some of the postal districts with the highest concentration of claimants connected to suspected ‘Crash for Cash’ scams in the country.

The campaign, being backed by the insurance industry, aims to raise public awareness of the ‘Crash for Cash’ phenomenon, whereby criminals target innocent and unsuspecting motorists with the intention of staging crashes in order to make claims against them. By reporting suspicions anonymously via the Cheatline, the public can provide important information, which will complement insurance industry data, and help identify the criminals behind these dangerous and unnecessary collisions.

Whilst the scam is described as a nationwide problem, the campaign focuses where perpetrators are most prevalent, with information being distributed to postal districts within cities that occupy the top of the ‘Crash for Cash’ hotspots list: Bradford, Birmingham, Bolton, Manchester, London, Liverpool and Halifax.

By exaggerating claims for personal injury, vehicle damage and car hire, claims made by scammers can be as much as £30,000. The result is that honest motorists foot the bill, as insurance companies pay out for accidents that have been caused deliberately by the fraudster. In many cases these crashes are coordinated beyond individual towns and cities by organised criminal gangs making hundreds of claims. These gangs use the considerable profits they make through ‘Crash for Cash’ activity to fund their on-going criminal network, with the average scam investigated by the IFB estimated to be worth £1.7 million.

The authorities give the court case from September 2013; 11 individuals who deliberately crashed a 12 tonne bus with 26 passengers on board as part of a huge ‘Crash for Cash’ scam in Sheffield were found guilty of playing a part in a fraud conspiracy worth almost £500,000.


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