The Asset Protection Unit has warned motorists over an accident compensation claim scam dubbed ‘flash for cash’.
London, UK -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/19/2013 -- Warnings are being issued to drivers over the growing trend of an accident compensation claim scam which has been dubbed ‘flash-for-cash’ by anti-fraud experts. In the insurance trick criminals flash their lights to signal other drivers out of a junction, before deliberately crashing into them.
The Asset Protection Unit who put out the warning have suggested that this particular con is a development from a well-established crime known as ‘crash for cash’, in which criminals will hit their brakes for no reason causing other drivers to drive into the back of them. In extreme cases of this crime it has been known for the purpetrators to remove the bulbs from their brake lights so other road users don’t realise they have slowed.
These scams are costing insurers hundreds of millions of pounds every year with gangs targeting new, smarter vehicles before submitting accident compensation claims. It is believed that each accident can net the gangs thousands of pounds, a factor which is contributing to the rising cost of insurance premiums.
Where as ‘crash for cash; schemes, particularly the most extreme examples, are relatively easy for police accident investigators to spot, the ‘flash for cash’ scam is much more difficult to identify. It is hard to prove in court, and will generally come down to the word of one driver against another in regards to the lights being flashed to allow the victim to pull out.
The scam is designed to make money for the gangs money through subsequently submitted accident compensation claims. Fake claims for personal injuries, such as whiplash will be followed up by subsequent claims for loss of earnings and in many cases bills for vehicle repairs and recovery.
The practice of flashing headlights to encourage drivers to leave a junction or overtake is itself against the UK Highway Code. According to the Highway Code drivers should "only flash [their] headlights to let other road users know that [they] are there. Do not flash headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users. Never assume that flashing headlights is a signal inviting you to proceed. Use your own judgement and proceed carefully." The reality of course is much different, which is why criminals have taken this opportunity to try and make money through false accident compensation claims at the expense of other road users.
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