Crash for cash scams

Can ‘Crash for Cash’ scams be avoided?

Not all collisions on our roads are an accident and as the financial pressures increase for many households and businesses, fraudulent insurance claims for crashes between vehicles is set to increase further.

Crash for Cash are scams that can range from paper-base fabrications to physical collisions involving innocent road users, all with the aim of making a cash profit from insurance claims. Unfortunately, these scams can also result in countless injuries and even fatalities, when the scam goes horribly wrong.

One of the most common Cash for Cash induced car collisions involving innocent drivers are caused by criminals braking suddenly at busy junctions and roundabouts with the aim that the driver behind won’t stop in time and go into the back of the vehicle in front. Also, fraudster target drivers who may edge out of a side road to see better or even act with an accomplice that drives erratically in front of them to avoid suspicion.

It is also reported that Crash for Cash moped scams are on the increase in parts of the UK where moped drivers deliberately crash into oncoming traffic. Many of the suspected fraudsters are believed to be couriers delivering items such as take-aways and are predominantly targeting drivers in North London’s most affluent areas. There is also a new type of Crash for Cash scam involving wing mirrors, whereby the scammer accuses an innocent driver of clipping their wing mirrors before demanding cash up front.

Here are a few things to look out for and avoid on the roads to help protect against Crash for Cash accidents:

Always keep a good distance.

According to the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) the time required to stop safely is two seconds in dry conditions, four seconds in wet conditions and 20 seconds in icy or snowy conditions.

Stay alert at all times.

Be aware of unusual driving behaviour and always drive safely, adhering to the highway code. Focus on the vehicle as well as their lights as Crash for Cash scammers often disable their brake lights. Proceed with caution if you are encouraged to pull out of a side road and be vigilant to suspicious behaviour by their passengers or the vehicle is in a poor condition with rear dents.

Are you a victim of a Crash for Cash scam?

It can be a frightening experience if you suspect that you have been the victim of a Crash for Cash scam, but the key is to keep calm and gather as much information as possible. Do not confront the other driver and exchange details as legally required. Note as much information as possible about the driver, any passengers and circumstances of the collision. This can include written information, pictures, dashcam footage and noting CCTV in the area. Then make your insurer aware of the incident, your local police force and contact the IFB Cheatline on 0800 4220421.

For further information regarding Crash for Cash scams, please call the Sutcliffe & Co Team on 01905 21681 or email