Ten UK cities have been revealed as hotspots for fraudulent crash for cash schemes, with Birmingham taking the top spot.
Data released by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) revealed the 30 postcodes with the highest levels of fraudulent claims from criminals deliberately crashing into unsuspecting drivers to claim car insurance payouts.
Of the 30 postcodes, the IFB released, there were ten Birmingham postcodes, with five coming in the top 10. B8, B6, and B10 postcodes were the three worst offenders.
Bradford and Manchester were next on a list dominated by northern cities including Oldham, Bolton and Sheffield.
London, the southernmost city featured on the list accounted for just three of the top 30 postcodes despite having a larger population than the other nine cities combined.
These‘crash for cash’ fraudsters will try to claim thousands of pounds in payouts by either knowingly causing collisions with members of the public or by damaging a vehicle using hammers and other blunt objects and then staging accidents.
According to the IFB, these scams not only put drivers’ lives at risk on the road but are also estimated to “cost the industry £336 million each year”.
Fraudulent claims such as these are one of the biggest reasons for the ever-increasing cost of car insurance as insurers are forced to increase prices to cover payouts.
IFB Director, Ben Fletcher says:
“These scams may seem to some to be a harmless way to beat the system and get an easy pay out with minimal risk.
“The reality is that not only do those people now stand a very good chance of getting caught and facing the consequences, but these scams put other motorist’s lives at risk.
“Not only does that present a real risk of injury, but sadly we know of at least one fatality that has occurred as a result of these incredibly dangerous and reckless incidents.“
While Birmingham may be the UK’s hotspot, the IFB warned that these sorts of schemes can take place anywhere.
They want to remind drivers to be extra vigilant if you’re involved in an accident and to look out for the following tell-tale signs of a ‘crash for cash’ scheme:
- The other driver is far too calm for someone that’s been involved in a car accident
- The driver has already written down their insurance details prior to the accident
- Any claimed injuries appearing to be completely at odds with the force of the impact
If you believe that you’ve been involved in one of these scams, you should get as much information from the other driver as possible as well as pictures of the scene, and contact the Police.
You can also contact the IFB’s Cheatline which can help them and your insurance company investigate these organised crimes.