The new whiplash reforms

Wed Jul 28 2021

What is a crash for cash scam?

A crash for cash scam is a staged accident done by fraudsters. Their aim is to deliberately get involved in an accident and make it appear it was the fault of the other driver so that they receive a payout from the insurance company. 

They sometimes try to claim for accidents that never happened, or more likely they will induce a real accident with an innocent third party. This type of fraud can be organised by criminal gangs, and there is of course risk of real injury to the innocent drivers. 

They do of course have giveaways and you are able to spot them and avoid them. 

How does crash for cash work?

There are many different ways these fraudsters can attempt to make you look at fault in an accident. If a car hits another car at the back, it’s almost always deemed that the driver of the car behind is at fault, so one of the most common staged accidents is that the fraudsters will brake suddenly for no obvious reason, hoping you will crash into the back of them. There are multiple ways they can attempt this;

  • A car can pull out in front of you and then brake suddenly, giving you no warning or chance to slow down. 
  • There have been reports of cars hitting their brakes sharply as they approach a pedestrian crossing, even when the crossing is clear, which means you would be taken by surprise and almost certainly hit them. 
  • Some of these fraudsters have even disconnected the brake lights on their car, giving you less time to react. 

How to avoid a crash for cash scam

The most important thing you should do is the same thing you should always do, pay full attention to the roads, look well ahead of you and try to spot any potential hazards. When it comes to avoiding being a victim in a crash for cash scam, particularly pay attention to the behaviour of drivers ahead of you. There are some also some specific things you should do to avoid becoming a victim on this fraud; 

  • Give yourself plenty of space between you and the car in front, especially when it comes to pedestrian crossings and junctions. 
  • If you think the car in front’s brake lights are not working, stay well away. 
  • Watch out for any vehicles driving erratically for slowing down for no reason. 
  • If a car flashes you to pull out of a junction, be sure they have slowed down before you proceed. The same goes for vehicles approaching on the right that indicated left, make sure you see them start turning before you move forward, as this is a common trick. 

How do you know if you have been involved in a crash for cash scam?

Once the accident has taken place, there may be a few signs that this was done deliberately. You should look for the following; 

The driver seems too calm

You would think that after an accident the driver should be going through different emotions, maybe panic, fear or anger. If the driver seems really calm despite the accident it could be a warning sign that the driver was fully expecting this accident to take place. 

The driver exaggerates injuries

Either the driver themselves or their passengers will appear to be exaggerating injuries. It is obviously impossible to know for sure whether they are actually injured or not, but it is something to look out for, as they would be looking to seek a personal injury payout. 

Their insurance information is already written down

This is a big one to look out for, not many people would be driving around with their insurance information pre written and prepared. If they hand over their insurance information straight away and it was clearly written before the accident, it is a big sign that this accident was pre planned. 

Dash cams

A huge help in avoiding being a crash for cash victim, is to install a dash cam. Many of these cameras will continuously record HD quality footage. If you manage to catch a fraudster in the act of deliberately causing a crash, this footage can be shared with your insurer and even the police. You couldn’t have better evidence of your innocence and their guilt.