We have been reading about a new area which criminal gangs are attempting to fraudulently benefit from a road traffic accident.
Motorists are being warned about the new insurance scam they are calling 'flash for cash'. It’s said that criminals are flashing their lights to let other road users out of junctions and then crashing into them on purpose. This new tactic has been referred to by the automotive anti-fraud investigation specialist APU. Their director of investigative services, Neil Thomas said: "It is yet another example of how criminal gangs are becoming more sophisticated and attempting to stay one step ahead of suspicion.”
In reality most people flash their lights as a friendly gesture to let other drivers out onto busy roads; however 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.'
This problem is growing, and police and fraud experts believe that by raising awareness, and making people more wary, there is a good chance many drivers won't take the bait.
According to the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), these type of crash scenarios cost £392m annually, with gangs netting an average of £1.7m. The IFB believes 14% of personal injury claims are suspected to be linked to 'crash for cash' scams.
We feel it's a shame for people who abide by the law, as something that is meant to be so positive and show good manners on the road, is now being abused by criminals.
By Barry Sutton and Lianne McNally, personal injury team