“Flash for cash”: New insurance scam a real concern

by Rivers on October 2, 2013

  • Sharebar

A new insurance scam where drivers deliberately crash into other cars in order to make a false claim is affecting thousands of drivers.

The process, which has already been dubbed “flash for cash,” sees criminals flashing their lights at other motorists to let them out of junctions and side roads, before crashing into them on purpose.

The scam is costing motorists and insurance companies thousands of pounds a year and particularly targets vulnerable drivers, such as the young or elderly, as well as new and expensive vehicles.

What has become known as “crash for cash” cases are not new, but this is the latest twist which sees people trying to capitalise on false personal injury claims.

A better known form “crash for cash” is motorists slamming on the brakes so that the car behind crashes into them. Some gangs have even been known to remove their brake lights so the car behind has no idea they are stopping.

“Flash for cash” is seen as a new and more appealing alternative to as it’s much more difficult to prove any wrong doing has taken place.

So how do people make money?

Each “accident” can net the gangs tens of thousands of pounds in a variety of ways.

False personal injury claims for whiplash, sometimes including claims for people who were not even in the car are usually made. Added to that, groups might charge the insurance company for loss of earnings, before putting in fake bills for vehicle storage, recovery, repairs, and replacement car hire.

“The problem is a growing problem,” explains Detective Inspector Dave Hindmarsh from the Metropolitan Police. “Financially it costs insurers £392m a year – that impacts on motorists as it’s an extra £50 to £100 on every person’s premium so that’s a financial cost.”

This latest warning of “flash for cash” scams has come from Asset Protection Unit (APU), a company which helps the police and the insurance industry investigate fraud. Neil Thomas at APU says the criminals pick on people, who are not going to put up a fight.

“Perhaps single females in the car with children in the back, perhaps doing the school run. Where they know there’s going to be no resistance, no real argument at the scene. The children are going to be upset”.

The grey area comes about due to the fact that motorists are not supposed to flash their lights in order to communicate with other drivers. It can be confusing as some people react differently and understand the flashing of lights differently.

This is reiterated by the Highway Code which states: “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.”

This article was written by content writer and journalist Matthew Crist, on behalf of Minnesota criminal defence lawyers – Rivers Law Firm.

No related posts.

  • lauralouise90

    This scam is one of the worst because it prays on manners to result in a road accident claim. We complain of a lack of manners on the road and because of this scam it’s only going to get worse!

Previous post:

Next post: