Fraudsters adopting new ‘hide-and-crash’ tactic for insurance claims

Would-be fraudsters are using new ‘hide-and-crash’ tactics in a bid to make money from insurance claims, according to an anti-fraud firm.

AX, a firm providing vehicle protection tech to insurers and other automotive companies, has warned that the tactic is becoming a more widespread move in ‘cash-for-crash’ cases. It involves a driver ‘hiding’ in the blind spot of another vehicle before darting in front and slamming the brakes on.

A ‘cash-for-crash’ incident is one where a crash is caused deliberately in a bid to profit in an insurance claim and is said to cost the insurance industry £340 million annually. AX has published a list of what it perceives to be the most commonly used tactics in these cases.

It says ‘slam on’ incidents — where a vehicle in front intentionally heavily applies the brakes in a bid to catch the driver behind out — is the most common move used by these criminals.

Other popular methods include ‘flash for crash’, where a driver flashes their lights to let someone out of a junction before accelerating into them, ‘hire and crash’, where someone hires a car to stage an accident, and ‘crash for ready cash’, where a third-party requests cash to fix their vehicle after they have forced a collision.

Neil Thomas, director of investigative services at AX, said: “This new tactic is a dangerous progression of the existing ‘slam on’ approach. Criminals can take cover in a driver’s blind spot, wait for the ideal moment, then accelerate and move into their pathway before slamming on the brakes.

“Detecting new methods deployed by gangs is notoriously difficult and without video evidence, it is often difficult to prove who was really at fault. Intelligence-sharing amongst insurers and the authorities can help, nevertheless drivers should always be vigilant. Collectively, we can minimise the impact of these increasingly sophisticated criminals.”