What to do if you have been targeted by a crash for cash fraudster
What is a crash for cash scam?
Crash for Cash scams are a form of premeditated fraud when an individual or group of people deliberately cause, fabricate or stage an accident with the intention of putting forward a claim for personal injury and receiving payment under the policy that they would not be otherwise entitled to.
Crash for cash scammers usually take the time out to choose their victims carefully. They look for vulnerable drivers and drivers who don’t look like they would cause too much fuss, such as young women driving alone or mothers with children in the car.
Types of Crash for Cash scams?
The three most common types of crash for cash scams are; a staged accident, an induced accident and a fabricated accident.
- Staged Accident – Fraudsters can stage an accident by crashing their own vehicles together or use something to mimic the damage of a crash such as a sledgehammer to dent or smash parts of their car.
- Induced Accident – The fraudster will target an innocent motorist as their victim to become the “fault driver” and deliberately cause them to crash into them such as by slamming on the breaks so the victim hits them in the rear or flashing a car to let them out of a side road and then proceeding to crash into them, making the victim to appear at fault.
- Fabricated Accident – These are also known as “ghost accidents” where the fraudster will attempt to claim for compensation for an accident that didn’t ever occur.
Things to look out for
- Be vigilant and look out for erratic or unpredictable drivers, does the car in front keep unnecessarily speeding up, slowing down or suddenly braking. Remember to leave plenty of room between your car and the car in front so that you have ample breaking distance as some fraudsters go as far as disabling their break lights.
- If the driver of the car in front is paying particular attention to your car travelling behind them such as constantly checking mirrors to see if you are paying attention, they may be planning to slam on their brakes and cause an accident.
- Remember that just because another driver flashes you to pull out, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe to go, be sure to use your own judgement and always proceed with caution.
What to do if you have been a victim of a crash for cash scam
- Gather all necessary information; driver and passenger names, insurance details and registration of the vehicle. Also take photos of the accident scene if it is safe to do so.
- Do not admit liability at the scene of the accident and suggest calling the police to the scene as this may cause the fraudster to back off.
- When you report the accident to your insurer, be sure to report your suspicions of the legitimacy of the other driver.
- See if there are any witnesses at the scene, however take care with this as fraudsters could be in on placing witnesses at the scene.
- Finally, you can report the accident to the Insurance Fraud Bureau via their website or by calling on 0800 422 0421