Motorists in the UK should remain vigilant to avoid becoming a victim
Motorists in the UK are being warned about a new scam being used by fraudsters known as ‘hide and crash’.
This new kind of scam involves a fraudster hiding in another driver’s blind spot before quickly moving in front of them and then slamming on the brakes.
Anti-fraud experts believe these fraudsters are using this tactic to try and trap unsuspecting motorists in a ‘crash for cash’ scam.
The driver warning has been issued by experts at AX who have exposed ‘flash for cash’ scams in the past. This is when a fraudster flashes their headlights to allow an unsuspecting driver to pull out from a junction, then they accelerate and cause a crash.
It’s estimated that ‘crash for cash’ scams cost the industry around £340 million every year and as a result of the scam, car insurance premiums for the average driver increase.
The new ‘hide and crash’ scam was spotted by AX after noticing several suspicious claims that showed almost identical characteristics.
Neil Thomas, Director of Investigative Services at AX explained: “This new tactic is a dangerous progression of the existing ‘slam on’ approach,” adding: “Criminals can take cover in a driver’s blind spot, wait for the ideal moment, then accelerate and move into their pathway before slamming on the brakes.”
Identifying new scam methods used by fraudsters is very difficult, especially with no video evidence and does make it extremely difficult to prove who was really at fault.
Thomas said: “Intelligence-sharing amongst insurers and the authorities can help, nevertheless drivers should always be vigilant.”
Mr Thomas said that it was hard for motorists to be able to protect themselves from such scams but does offer some helpful advice that could prevent motorists from becoming a victim.
Watch for passengers looking back and never interpret flashing headlights as an automatic invitation to pull out from a side road.
If you are involved in an accident, make sure you count how many occupants are in the other vehicle and write all their names down. Also make a note of the registration plates as this can help insurers and fraud experts when it comes to finding out what really happened.
According to Mr Thomas from AX, there are five locations that fraudsters tend to use when looking for their next victim:
- Major roundabouts – drivers can be distracted by lots of road signs and signals
- Small out-of-town roundabouts – fraudsters can escape easily and there’s no CCTV
- Busy motorways – ‘hide and crash’ incidents for example
- Traffic lights – possible witnesses will be cautious about stopping to help
- Turning from a side road
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