Here at CVSL we like to keep all our clients whether on personal contract hire or business contract hire up to date with recent news items that may be of interest this week we are highlighting what is called Cash for crash as fraudsters risk lives of others for high financial gain.
This is not a new issue but there has recently been a high profile landmark case when three men who deliberately caused a car crash that led to another collision in which a woman died were sentenced to 10 years each. It was the first time that somebody had been killed as a result of a crash for cash scam.
The fraudsters had been planning to make a personal injury claim in connection with a staged crash on the A40 in Buckinghamshire.
Sgt James Upton, from the Thames Valley Police road death investigation team, said: “The crash for cash culture has become more prevalent in our society, but this is the first known fatality as a result of an induced crash.”
There was also another cash for cash case when the fraudster was jailed for 12 months for conspiracy to defraud and dangerous driving after targeting a commercial vehicle.
CCTV footage from inside the HGV’s in cabin camera helped expose the scam, It showed a Golf decoy car braking hard and late to turn into a side road; the Mercedes-Benz that is following then performed an emergency stop, which caused a rear-end shunt by the HGV.
With this being a very lucrative business it is estimated that the annual cost to the insurance industry of the annual cash for crash fraud is estimated to be about £392 million with £100 million involving commercial policies.
Fraudsters will either approach a junction, roundabout or intersection and then suddenly jam on the brakes leading to a rear-end collision, or use a ‘no-stop’ vehicle driven erratically by one gang member to cause a car driven by another gang member to break violently immediately in front of a vehicle, leading to a rear-end collision.
After the accident, the criminals claim compensation, often with the help of bogus witnesses and other parties that might be involved in the scam, for injuries, vehicle damage, replacement vehicle hire, loss of earnings and other costs. A scam can typically net the criminals £20,000 to £40,000.
It can become very costly for victims whether it be buisness or private these claims have knock on effects to future insurance premiums as it is very difficult to prove you have been involved in a cash for crash scam and its not your fault.
There are a few options available to record what is in front of you when your driving some very sophisticated which can cost around £200 to £300 pounds but you can also get some cheap Smart-phone apps which do a similar job and only cost £1. The evidence from these recordings have already been used to help the police in there quest to convict these criminals and in the future the CCTV evidence will play a major part in stopping this crime.
Here are a few quick pointers to be aware of if you suspect you’re involved in a crash for cash scam
- Stay calm, think clearly and, as with any accident, don’t admit liability
- If a ‘no-stop’ vehicle is involved, try to get its registration number – or at least a brief description
- Call the police and if there’s the slightest indication of injury, call an ambulance as well
- Use a disposable camera or your mobile phone to photograph the immediate scene, road markings and damage to the car involved
- Count the number of occupants in the car, get their names, addresses an dates of birth and make a note of where they were sitting in the car
- Look for independent witnesses – avoid anyone who’s too enthusiastic, though they might be in on the scam
- Look for CCTV cameras in the vicinity and tell your insurer
- Call the confidential Insurance Fraud Bureau Cheatline on 0800 328 2550 with any information you feel may be relevant