Criminals running ‘cash-for-crash’ fraud rings have employed a new tactic dubbed ‘flash-for-cash’.
According to an article published by the BBC, criminals are now flashing their lights to grant you right of way from a junction. However, as you exit, the driver speeds forward deliberately causing an accident.
The adoption of this new scam results in a ‘your word against mine’ situation when it comes to apportioning the blame in court.
This latest warning comes from Asset Protection Unit (APU), a company that assists the police and the insurance industry with fraud investigations.
The APU’s director of investigative services says:
“By appearing to offer the right of way, the criminal simply continues the journey into a collision, holding the victim at fault for turning across from which, of course, cannot be denied under law.”
Unfortunately, ‘flash-for-cash’ and ‘cash-for-crash’ incidents are not limited to those directly involved.
According to Dave Hindmarsh, a Detective Inspector from the Metropolitan Police, these scams cost insurance companies around £392m a year.
Insurers recoup their losses by adding an extra £50-£100 on every driver’s premium – a financial cost for everyone.
This is another example of criminal gangs becoming sophisticated by exploiting loopholes in the insurance claim system.
The Highway Code says: “Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your 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.”
Fortunately, there is something you can do to avoid a ‘your word against mine’ situation.
A black box accident recording system mounted onto your windscreen can prove that you are the victim.
CrashCAM™, from Vision Techniques, is one of the most cost effective accident recording systems available on the market.
When other drivers deliberately cause a ‘cash-for-crash’ or ‘flash-for-crash’ accident, you can have your own reliable, independent witness.
As well as providing you with video evidence of accidents and incidents, CrashCAM™ displays journey information – such as speed and shock data, and a GPS mapping system – on a playback screen.
CrashCAM™ is suitable for both private car owners and fleet operators.
Visit www.crashcam.co.uk for more information.