A brand new report has listed the 30 postcodes the place fraudsters have made probably the most damage claims after intentionally inflicting highway site visitors collisions – and it is the Midlands and North the place different drivers are at most threat.
Birmingham and Bradford account for nearly half of the postcodes within the standings, suggesting native motorists should be further vigilant of the rip-off.
Generally known as ‘crash for money’, drivers and pedestrians orchestrate accidents after which file for bogus damage compensation in opposition to harmless highway customers.
The Insurance coverage Fraud Bureau, which printed the listing of worst affected postcodes this morning, has discovered that single gangs may be behind 1000’s of orchestrated collisions in some areas, with the mixed worth of their fraudulent claims operating into hundreds of thousands of kilos.
Crash for money hotspots revealed: Birmingham and Bradford not solely make up 7 within the high 10 postcodes the place most crash for money claims had been made between 2019 and 2020, however additionally they account for 14 of the highest 30, the Insurance coverage Fraud Bureau says
The hotspots evaluation confirms Birmingham stays probably the most prevalent space within the UK for the damaging rip-off, accounting for seven of the 30 worst hit postcodes.
It’s adopted by Bradford (additionally with seven postcodes within the high 30), Manchester, London and Luton, that are all seeing a rise in claims being made by fraudsters who purposely power drivers into crashes.
The IFB’s evaluation of two.7 million motor insurance coverage claims made August 2019 to the top of December 2020 has recognized over 170,000 claims which could possibly be linked to suspected crash for money networks.
The scams can vary from paper-based fabrications, or automobiles being broken behind closed doorways, by way of to probably the most harmful the place collisions are being brought on by fraudsters with harmless highway customers.
Fraudsters are repeatedly adopting new strategies to dupe harmless drivers, with one of many techniques being ‘hide and crash‘, when the rip-off artist strikes right into a driver’s blind-spot earlier than rapidly transferring in entrance to slam on the brakes and power an unavoidable shunt.
There has additionally been a spike in circumstances of pedestrians throwing themselves into vehicles travelling at low speeds, claiming the driving force was at fault for hitting them as they tried to cross the highway.
Mixed, these circumstances can accumulate claims price hundreds of thousands of kilos, which not solely impacts the premiums of the harmless motorists caught up in these harmful schemes however pushes common insurance coverage prices larger.
In 2019, it was estimated that crash for money was costing insurers £340million yearly.
The 30 postcodes with most crash for money incidents
1. B25 (Birmingham)
2. B34 (Birmingham)
3. B8 (Birmingham)
4. BD7 (Bradford)
5. BD3 (Bradford)
6. WS1 (Walsall)
7. BB9 (Blackburn)
8. BD8 (Bradford)
9. B27 (Birmingham)
10. RM18 Romford
11. B33 (Birmingham)
12. WF13 (Wakefield)
13. BD15 (Bradford)
14. OL8 (Oldham)
15. HX1 (Halifax)
16. M8 (Manchester)
17. LS8 (Leeds)
18. N9 (North London)
19. WF16 (Wakefield)
20. LU3 (Luton)
21. WS2 (Walsall)
22. BD2 (Bradford)
23. BD5 (Bradford)
24. B11 (Birmingham)
25. HP12 (Excessive Wycombe)
26. B28 (Birmingham)
27. RM8 (Romford)
28. LU4 (Luton)
29. IG3 (Ilford)
30. BD9 (Bradford)
Supply: Insurance coverage Fraud Bureau evaluation of two.7 million motor insurance coverage claims made throughout the UK in between 1/10/2019 to 31/12/2020 recognized over 170,000 claims which could possibly be linked to suspected ‘Crash for Money’ networks. Knowledge was mapped in opposition to claimants’ postal districts to find out hotspots. Round 82% of all UK insurers submit their claims information to the IFB, which was used to finish this evaluation.
Harmless motorists are put in peril whereas fraudsters make bogus damage claims that price insurers hundreds of thousands of kilos a 12 months and power premiums for British drivers larger
Such is the dimensions of the issue in recent times that police forces have needed to create specialist models that consider crash for money circumstances.
Areas the place ‘money for crash’ is deployed
1. Main roundabouts
It is a favorite for motoring rip-off artists as they know drivers may be distracted by a number of highway indicators, indicators and trying to navigate after they can pull onto the junction
2. Small out-of-town roundabouts
These give fraudsters a simple escape route after a collision and junctions are not often monitored by CCTV
3. Busy motorways
Once more, a fraudster can reap the benefits of drivers being targeted on the fast-moving site visitors round them and deploy ‘disguise and crash’ makes an attempt on unsuspecting people
4. Site visitors lights
Scammers know that potential witnesses might be reluctant to cease and assist
5. Turning from a facet highway
Mostly junctions that aren’t monitored by CCTV or ANPR cameras
In Birmingham, the IFB not too long ago labored with Metropolis of London Police’s Insurance coverage Fraud Enforcement Division (IFED) to convict a serial fraudster who had spent over two years luring harmless individuals into automobile crashes.
Ben Fletcher, Director on the IFB, mentioned: ‘Crash for money fraudsters convey devastation to numerous victims and enhance motor insurance coverage prices for us all.
‘The IFB’s hotspots evaluation is a stark reminder that though nice strides have been taken in tackling the issue, these automobile crash scams are all too widespread.
‘As site visitors ranges return to regular following the nationwide lockdown, crash for money fraudsters could look to make up for misplaced time.
‘It’s hoped that by shining a highlight on the difficulty we are going to encourage highway customers to be alert and report any suspicious exercise to the IFB’s Cheatline on 0800 422 0421.’
Freddie Lovejoy, an LV= Normal Insurance coverage buyer, fell sufferer to a one of many scams when his Land Rover was induced right into a collision on the A1. A court docket case was efficiently fought after the fraudsters tried to say for compensation.
‘You by no means anticipate against the law like crash for money to occur till it does, and I might strongly advocate drivers learn up about it,’ he defined.
‘There may be bodily and psychological impacts when concerned in a automobile incident, and to suppose criminals do it on objective is horrifying.’
In 2019, it was estimated that fraudulent crash for money claims had been costing insurers £340million yearly
Top-of-the-line methods for motorists to guard themselves in opposition to these choreographed collisions is to purchase a dashcam – a tool that matches to your windscreen or dashboard and information what is going on on the highway forward (and behind in some variations).
High 5 ‘crash for money’ techniques utilized by fraudsters
1. Conventional ‘slam on’ accidents
A car in entrance deliberately slams on the brakes to catch out the driving force behind
2. Flash for crash
When a driver flashes their lights to beckon one other car ahead however then drives into them
3. Crash for prepared money
A 3rd-party requests money to repair their car after they’ve induced a collision
4. Cover and crash
A car ‘hides’ within the blind spot of one other automobile earlier than transferring in entrance and braking arduous
5. Rent and crash
The place a felony hires a automobile and levels an accident with one other car, often somebody they know
The cameras, which price from as little as £50 and as much as £500 for probably the most superior gadgets, had been launched to assist drivers show their innocence in highway site visitors collisions and have turn out to be a priceless device for shielding motorists from crash for money scams.
Mr Lovejoy mentioned he was saved by utilizing one of many system. He was in a position to submit footage of his case to show he had fallen sufferer to fraud.
‘On the time I used to be utilizing a dashcam which supplied essential proof for the case, so that will be my high tip to anybody,’ he mentioned.
‘I used to be fortunate to get help and justice, however others won’t be so lucky, so creating extra consciousness for the general public is necessary.’
James Dalton, Director of Normal Insurance coverage Coverage on the Affiliation of British Insurers, mentioned: ‘These felony gangs are sometimes extremely organised and put lives in danger. The quantities that they fraudulently declare may be large, and may affect on the motor premiums paid by trustworthy motorists.
‘With extra automobiles on the roads as we emerge from the pandemic restrictions, so the potential targets for these criminals will increase. Because of this it’s so necessary for all motorists to be on their guard – for those who suspect an incident is suspicious don’t put your self in danger, however report your suspicions to the IFB’s confidential Cheatline.’
Detective Chief Inspector Edelle Michaels, Head of the Metropolis of London Police’s IFED, mentioned crash for money fraudsters don’t care concerning the security of their victims, with one 2019 case even focusing on a pregnant lady.
The Insurance coverage Fraud Bureau has outlined to us a variety of manner drivers can establish a possible crash for money rip-off – and the way to report it
The way to keep away from falling sufferer to a crash for money rip-off
The IFB says crash for money automobile collisions are sometimes brought on by fraudsters in a car in entrance of the sufferer.
The rip-off artist will slam on their brakes at busy junctions and roundabouts within the hope that the unsuspecting driver behind received’t cease in time.
Some fraudsters additionally do that with an confederate that drives erratically in entrance of them, to allow them to divert the sufferer’s suspicions by blaming the driving force in entrance.
As well as, there have been rising studies of harmless drivers being crashed into by fraudsters after being inspired to tug out of facet roads, or when creeping ahead for a greater view.
Specialists say one of the best ways for motorists to guard themselves is to arm themselves with a dashcam but additionally hold a good way to the car they’re following, to permit them to cease in time in all situations.
Insurance coverage Fraud Bureau’s high tricks to keep away from ‘crash for money’ scams
1. Maintain a good way
At all times hold a good way from the car in entrance. In line with the DVSA (Driver and Automobile Requirements Company) the time required to securely cease is:
• 2 seconds in dry circumstances.
• 4 seconds in moist circumstances.
• 20 seconds in icy or snowy circumstances.
2. Keep alert
• Drive secure and keep on with the freeway code.
• Sit up for spot any potential hazards together with uncommon driving behaviour.
• Give attention to automobiles and never simply their lights, as fraudsters usually disable brake lights.
• Be cautious when pulling out of a facet highway, particularly if inspired by one other driver.
• If different drivers or their passengers are behaving suspiciously, or the situation of their car is poor (comparable to rear dents), keep calm and hold again.
3. Know the telltale indicators of a crash for money collision
• The motive force or their passengers seem like unphased after the collision.
• The motive force or their passengers seem to magnify accidents.
• Pre-written insurance coverage data is handed over.
4. In case you suppose you’ve got fallen sufferer to a crash for money rip-off, report it
Keep in mind to notice as a lot data as doable concerning the driver, any passengers and circumstances of the collision. This may embrace written data, photos, dashcam footage and noting CCTV within the space.
Proof of a ‘Crash for Money’ rip-off may be reported to the IFB’s confidential and nameless Cheatline (powered by CrimeStoppers) on 0800 422 0421 or at www.insurancefraudbureau.org/cheatline
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