UK Drivers Alerted to Rising ‘Crash for Cash’ Fraud Claims

UK Drivers Alerted to Rising ‘Crash for Cash’ Fraud Claims
credit: alanboswell

London (Parliament News) – Motorists should be cautious of a 60-fold rise in “crash for cash” fraud involving motorbike and scooter riders staging accidents. Allianz reports a 6,000% increase in such claims in 2023.

Motorists have been cautioned to be sharp after a 60-fold growth in “crash for cash” fraud claims involving motorbike and scooter riders stage accidents so they can blame naive drivers.

How are motorbike fraudsters targeting drivers for insurance scams?

The insurer Allianz expressed that its data showed that claims relating to this fraud increased by 6,000% between January and December 2023 – a substantial jump from the 50% increase the year before. This type of insurance scam typically involves an “induced accident”, in which a rider tries to deliberately get struck by a vehicle in order to make a claim.

Criminals usually target drivers as they park their cars – for example, they will ride past just as the driver unlocks the car door so that it hits the motorbike or scooter, with the purpose being to make it appear the motorist’s fault.

Where are crash-for-cash fraud hotspots located in the UK?

Allianz said its data revealed that four in 10 of these “accidents” occurred during the afternoon and evening school run and rush hour – between 3 pm and 7 pm. Lunchtime also appeared to be a “prime time” for fraudsters, with 27% of crashes happening between 11 am and 2 pm. More than half of the happenings took place in Greater London. Croydon and Enfield were named as “hotspot” locations for this type of scam.

The consumer organisation Which? has previously stated that new variations of this type of fraud have also been occurring, including “wing mirror scams”, where a fraudster tosses an object at a passing car to make an effect sound, then pursues the driver arguing they have clipped their wing mirror and then either pressing cash or initiating a claim.

Matt Crabtree, head of financial crime intelligence and investigation strategy at Allianz’s personal lines business, stated: “It’s shocking that we’ve seen a 60-fold increase in the number of motorbike ‘crash for cash’ claims in 2023.”

Innocent targets were being physically and emotionally influenced by this crime, and it was also putting kids, passersby and others at significant risk, he added. Allianz, which contains the general insurance arm of LV=, said that as well as targeting large cities, methodical criminal gangs were focusing their concentration on small towns and the outskirts of cities, including places such as Thornton Heath, in the London borough of Croydon, and Hagley, a few miles outside Birmingham.

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), the organisation that heads up the industry’s fight against insurance fraud, expressed it was urging the public “to be attentive to signs of this dangerous activity”. The recommendation from insurers includes being attentive to any unusual driving behaviour and taking special care at junctions and when pulling out from a parked place or side road.

Earlier this month Allianz stated there had been a surge in fraud cases recently in which photos were exploited using apps and software in order to offer fake car crash damage.

Daniele Naddei

Daniele Naddei is a journalist at Parliament News covering European affairs, was born in Naples on April 8, 1991. He also serves as the Director of the CentroSud24 newspaper. During the period from 2010 to 2013, Naddei completed an internship at the esteemed local radio station Radio Club 91. Subsequently, he became the author of a weekly magazine published by the Italian Volleyball Federation of Campania (FIPAV Campania), which led to his registration in the professional order of Journalists of Campania in early 2014, listed under publicists. From 2013 to 2018, he worked as a freelance photojournalist and cameraman for external services for Rai and various local entities, including TeleCapri, CapriEvent, and TLA. Additionally, between 2014 and 2017, Naddei collaborated full-time with various newspapers in Campania, both in print and online. During this period, he also resumed his role as Editor-in-Chief at Radio Club 91.
Naddei is actively involved as a press officer for several companies and is responsible for editing cultural and social events in the city through his association with the Medea Fattoria Sociale. This experience continued until 2021. Throughout these years, he hosted or collaborated on football sports programs for various local broadcasters, including TLA, TvLuna, TeleCapri, Radio Stonata, Radio Amore, and Radio Antenna Uno.
From 2016 to 2018, Naddei was employed as an editor at newspapers of national interest within the circuit, including Internazionale24, Salute24, and OggiScuola. Since 2019, Naddei has been one of the creators of the Rabona television program "Calcio è Passione," which has been broadcast on TeleCapri Sport since 2023.