Barking 'cash for crash' gangs on rise
CRIMINAL gangs who trick unsuspecting motorists into accidents so they can claim money for injuries are on the rise in the borough. The scams, known as cash for crash by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), have increased over the past year. Investigators wi
CRIMINAL gangs who trick unsuspecting motorists into accidents so they can claim money for injuries are on the rise in the borough.
The scams, known as cash for crash by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), have increased over the past year.
Investigators with the IFB say the cons are very lucrative, with many fraudsters who work in gangs earning hundreds of thousands of pounds through faking injuries after accidents.
Often they will try to make innocent drivers crash into the back of them by swerving or braking suddenly.
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IFB officer Richard Davies said: "Traditionally it is the driver at the rear who is held accountable for these types of accidents.
"Cash for crash gangs know this and they try to take advantage of innocent people.
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"They are highly organised and have different ways of inciting accidents that drivers should look out for."
A fraudster might cut you up, move away from a junction and then slam on the brakes, or take the brake lights out of their car.
In the last year Barking has moved from being 14th nationally in the IFB's statistics on cash for crash to 11th.
Mr Davies said: "We are detecting these types of crimes more quickly than we were.
"We check 250million claims and policy records every year to pinpoint where cash for crash activity is ongoing."
After the fraudster has caused an accident they usually claim for injuries such as whiplash, which are very difficult to diagnose and disprove.
They can earn up to �17,000 for just one accident but professional scammers working in groups can earn hundreds of thousands.
Mr Davies added: "A lot of the time these people will seem fine after the crash, completely uninjured.
"But when the insurance claim comes through they say they have injuries and exaggerate the amount of time their vehicle has been off the road.
"Some say they are unable to work after the accident."
Motorists in Barking should be on the lookout for any erratic behaviour by another driver.
If you've had an accident and believe you are the victim of insurance fraud, call the IFB on 0800 328 2550 or visit www.ifb.org