Motorists in Northamptonshire are being warned by police after a number of ‘cash for crash’ incidents.
In recent weeks, police say that a number of alleged incidents in the Daventry area have been shared on social media where fraudsters may have taken advantage of motor insurance companies which often pay off small, uncontested, or difficult-to-defend claims from drivers of cars shunted from behind.
By making such uncontested claims, claimants can often receive considerable sums of compensation, sometimes up to £1,000 at a time.
Sergeant Sam Dobbs, from Daventry’s Safer Community Team, said: “In the Daventry cases, we suspect the fraudsters removed the brake lights from the entrapment car which was then driven in a way to cause a following vehicle to collide with it from behind.
“Most reasonable drivers presume that if they collide with a vehicle from behind, it is automatically their fault. The fraudsters will feed on this presumption, and attempt to claim against the innocent driver’s insurance for damage or personal injury, or both.”
While not able to discuss the tactics typically used by fraudsters, Sergeant Dobbs said they often conducted several scams in one area, such as Daventry, before moving elsewhere.
The tactics employed by the offenders also means that the true identity of the people who own the cars involved can never be established.
Although the current spate has ceased in Daventry, police have issued advice to motorists countywide.
Dashboard cameras can provide video footage which help the innocent collision victim.
If you are in a collision, use your mobile phone to capture as much photographic evidence as possible, providing it is safe to do so.
Alert your insurer at the earliest opportunity if you think you are a victim of crash for cash. In these circumstances, check with your insurer they will not automatically pay out a claim without a proper investigation.
While police cannot always attend minor collisions, do insist that a police incident is recorded so that you can report vital information, if you think you have been victim of this type of crime.
For more information, you can also find advice from The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) which works with insurers and the police to identify where the trends are.