Motorists warned of ‘flash-for-cash’ scam

12.00 | 16 August 2013 | | 1 comment

Motorists are being warned about a new insurance scam where criminals flash their lights to let other drivers out of a junction, then crash into them on purpose (BBC News).

The BBC News report says the gangs tend to target new, smarter vehicles or vulnerable road users, including older people and women with children in the car. The scam, dubbed ‘flash-for-cash’ by anti fraud experts, is apparently costing insurers hundreds of millions of pounds every year.

It is a new tactic for an already well established crime where criminals slam on the brakes so the victim drives into the back of their car. Police investigators said the criminals will often remove the bulbs in their brake lights so other road users don’t know they’re stopping.

Detective Inspector Dave Hindmarsh, Metropolitan Police, said: “The problem is a growing problem. 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.

"[There are] emotional costs [as] if you’re involved in a crash you could well lose your confidence, and if your passengers are children they may well become wary of being passengers in cars, and of course you may get injured or killed."

The police and fraud experts hope that by raising awareness of this issue fewer drivers will fall for the scam.


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    This is something that makes me very angry. Decades ago I was involved in a crash that was caused by the driver behind not noticing stationary traffic ahead on the motorway. All 3 of us were injured with 1 going to hospital but none of us claimed injury compensation. People didn’t claim injury compensation back then but I understand the “fairness” that injury compensation is supposed to provide.

    OTOH, more recently a car driver caused a collision (completely his fault) but he then tried to claim it was my fault, that he was injured and claimed loss of earnings etc. After quite a battle his insurance paid for the damage he caused (I was not injured) but I then received around 2 or 3 phone calls every week for over a year afterwards trying to persuade me to claim.

    This has to stop. The damage to society caused by injury compensation is orders of magnitude worse than the problem it attempts to address. We therefore need to stop injury compensation completely except for cases provable in a court.

    Dave Finney, Slough
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