Scamwatch: new "cash for crash" fraud

Drivers warned after motorist targeted by moped rider.

Scamwatch: new

Stay one step ahead of the fraudsters with our series of articles giving you the lowdown on the scams they use to trick people out of their hard-earned cash - and how to avoid being taken in by them.

This week, we take a closer look at a sneaky new type of car insurance fraud involving moped riders.

How does it work?

Video evidence has emerged of a female motorist who thwarted an attempt to involve her in a fake accident designed to allow the other party to cash in on an insurance claim.

The apparent conman was caught on the woman's dash cam wheeling his moped towards her moving car and throwing himself onto her windscreen when she stopped to avoid a collision.

He then accused her of crashing into him, and was backed up by an accomplice who filmed the aftermath of the incident on his mobile phone and claimed to be a passerby who was concerned for the supposed "victim".

Once the pair realised that the whole thing had been filmed on her dash cam, however, they moved swiftly away trying to hide their identities.

Using a moped in this way would appear to be a new slant on the so-called "crash for cash" scam, in which drivers deliberately cause accidents by, for example, slamming their brakes on at a road junction.

Deliberate accidents of this kind make up a big percentage of the more than 2,500 bogus insurance claims submitted each week in the UK.

How can I avoid being caught out?

A quarter of the innocent drivers caught up in "cash for crash" accidents are unable to prove they were scammed, often leaving them facing higher insurance premiums, according to comparison website uSwitch.

There is also the danger of you or someone in your car being injured in a scam of this kind, which is one more reason to always keep your wits about you when you're on the road.

Other ways to avoid being taken in by "crash for cash" fraudsters include not getting to close to the vehicle in front when at junctions and roundabouts, and investing in a dash cam like the driver targeted in the moped scam.

I've been defrauded. What should I do?

You should always tell your insurer straight away if you think an accident you were involved in may have been staged.

If you suspect anyone of committing insurance fraud of any kind, you can also call the Insurance Fraud Bureau Cheatline on 0800 4220421, or tell the police via Action Fraud (0300 123 2040).

Victims of scams and fraud

Victims of scams and fraud