You may have heard the term ‘crash for cash’ but have never known what it means. Lucky for you because those people who have heard the term certainly wish they hadn’t. In this schemes, fraudsters deliberately crash into the vehicles of innocent motorists, or submit false claims for accidents. This is so they can make as much money as possible from claims which are exaggerated or completely false. The money that is made from these claims is used to fund other ‘accidents’ or to fund even more serious crimes. Not only does this scam mean that people are paying out for accidents that are completely not their fault, but it is also putting motorists at risk and potentially jeopardising their lives.
In recent years, these schemes are becoming more and more commonplace, unfortunately for innocent motorists on the road. There are three main types of crash for cash schemes – none of which are good news for other motorists. The first type is where two fraudsters will crash two of their own cars together, or use tools to simulate the damage of a crash. The second type is where someone will deliberately slam the brakes on their car to ensure that the car behind will crash into them, even though they weren’t braking for anything. The third type of scheme is called a ghost scheme and is where a fraudster will make a claim for an accident that never even happened.
There is good news though. In 2006, the Insurance Fraud Bureau was created to ensure that something would be done about these kinds of crimes. This organisation works alongside the police and insurance companies to investigate every claim that comes to them, making sure that nobody falls victim to these scammers. Unfortunately, they can’t catch every one that comes to them and some of these scams do fall through the net. If you’re worried about this happening to you, then there are some things that you can do. If you’re running any kind of company where you are in charge of people who are driving a lot, then you might also want to pass this advice onto them.
First things first, and something that you should be doing anyway, is making sure you stay alert when driving. Be aware of your own driving as well as those people around you. Be aware of when others are getting too close to you when driving. If there are cars which are driving too quickly and too slowly at the same time, then they may be people looking to fake an accident. Another warning sign is drivers who pay too much attention to the car behind them, and try to stick quite close to them. This could also be passengers doing the same thing. Make sure that you aren’t paying so much attention that you forget to pay attention to what you’re doing.
Make sure that you always maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you. This is something that you should be doing anyway, but it can be easy to forget sometimes, particularly on long journeys, but it is one of the most important ways to keep your driving safe. Make sure to adjust your distance according to how fast you’re going and what the conditions of the roads are like. Another things that fraudsters often do to increase the chances of causing an accident is disabling their brake lights. Be aware if you end up behind a car that doesn’t have any brake lights and make sure to keep an even larger distance between you and that car, just in case.