In Crash for Cash scams, fraudsters deliberately crash into the vehicles of innocent motorists or submit false claims for accidents. The intention is to make as much money as possible from the exaggerated claim, with proceeds used to fund other accidents or even more serious crimes. The scam goes well beyond the initial car accident, with Car Insurance fraud adding £50 to every annual premium. More importantly, it is also puts motorists’ lives in danger.
Crash for Cash Scenarios
Crash for Cash comes in three scenarios:
- A Staged Accident is where fraudsters crash two of their own vehicles together, or use a sledgehammer to imitate the effects of a crash.
- An Induced Accident is where a fraudster will deliberately slam on the brakes of their car to ensure the car behind crashes into them.
- A Ghost Accident is where a fraudster will submit false claims for accidents that didn’t even happen.
Crash for Cash what to do
- Stay alert. Be aware of your own driving and motorists around you.
- Warning signs. Look out for cars that are travelling unusually slowly or for cars that speed up and slow down for no clear reason.
- Driver behaviour: If you can see that a driver is paying particular attention to the vehicle behind them, this could be a warning sign they are looking to cause an accident.
- Passenger behaviour: Similarly, if you can notice passengers paying particular attention to the vehicle behind them, this could also be a sign they are intending to cause an accident.
- Damaged vehicles: Look out for cars that show signs of having been in accidents – especially cars with a damaged back end.
- Maintain a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead of
you. Always ensure there is a sufficient distance to brake and avoid hitting the vehicle in front.
- Check for brake lights in other vehicles. Fraudsters often disable their brake lights to increase the chance of causing an accident.
What’s being done to tackle Crash for Cash scams?
2014 saw a 21% rise in organised fraud cases compared with 2013, with major cities like London, Birmingham and Manchester identified as the worst areas for the scammers. In 2006 the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) was set up to tackle this kind of car insurance scam. Since then there has been over 700 arrests, and 30 to 40 criminal gangs are currently under investigation.
Find further information here on Car Insurance or speak to one of our RAC advisers on 0330 159 1019* to get a quote.
* 03 numbers are charged at national call rates and are usually included in inclusive minute plans from landlines and mobiles. Calls may be recorded and/or monitored.
1 10% of all customers buying Car Insurance Plus with us from 1st November 2014 to 30th April 2015 paid less than £165. Based on comprehensive Car Insurance Plus, purchased direct, excluding any additional products and upgrades, with payment on an annual basis. Your premium will depend on your circumstances and the level of cover you choose.
RAC Insurance is a trading name of RAC Financial Services Limited. Registered in England and Wales No. 5171817. Registered office: RAC House, Brockhurst Crescent, Walsall, WS5 4AW. RAC Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited, which is an independent intermediary, and is underwritten by a panel of insurers. Registered in England no. 3231094. Registered office: Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS. Both companies are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.