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.