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"crash for ready cash"

Anti-fraud intelligence specialists, the Asset Protection Unit (APU), are warning motorists about a potential new scam that is being used by organised criminals. This new ploy, which they call “crash for ready cash” involves gangs deliberately staging an accident and then intimidating the innocent victim into handing over money in return for not getting insurers involved.

Historically, ‘crash for cash’ gangs stage collisions and then make fraudulent personal injury claims through insurers, pocketing the pay-outs if they get past the insurers’ fraud detection systems. But this emerging version of the crime is being used by gangs looking for a ‘quick fix’ route to the money by sidestepping the insurer and the risk of detection by the Police.

In the instances investigated by the APU, criminals appear to target more vulnerable motorists, like young females who are driving alone, or elderly people, in the hope that they can force them to hand over cash more readily.

Talking to, Neil Thomas, Director of Investigative Services at APU, said: “Clearly, going through the insurance claims system poses the risk for criminals that their personal details will be recorded and previous dishonest claims or claims which weren’t paid out identified. This emerging trend shows just how entrepreneurial criminals can be; they just want the money and this is a faster, easier way for them to get it without being caught. By demanding money at the roadside, they won’t get the same level of pay-out as if they’d filed an insurance claim. So they are trying the same stunt several times a day in order to try and get enough cash to make it worth their while, which makes this a dangerous tactic."

Rob Smale, Claims and Operations Director for Ageas said: “Whilst we are not aware of any exposure to this scam involving our policyholders, we would advise anyone who is involved in a road traffic collision not to hand over any cash at the scene but exchange details and record the nature of the damage and number of people involved. If possible, take photos of the location and damage and if you suspect the incident is staged or feel intimidated, call the police and remain in your vehicle.”



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