In the UK the incidence of traffic accident 'scams' or insurance fraud is on the increase and is often carried out by organised criminal gangs. It is estimated that fraudulent accident claims cost the insurance industry (and ultimately, us!) over a billion pounds a year, and yet there are many people who are unaware of it's existence.
There are several 'scenarios' that are well known to both the police and insurance investigators. The one common factor being that the unwary driver is 'forced' into a situation where they have a road accident with the criminals’ vehicle. The innocent victim of the scam has to accept liability for the accident, and then the criminals (usually a car full) will make bogus injury claims against the victims insurance company.
Below are a couple of examples of the situations that the criminals try to 'create' for the unwary motorist.
The 'Swoop and Squat'
This scenario, known as the 'Swoop an Squat' to the police, involves 2 cars. The first car is in front of the target victims car, the second car then deliberately 'cuts up' the first car. The first car then breaks suddenly (supposedly to avoid hitting the second car), causing the victims car to crash into the back of it. In this situation the accident is usually considered to be the fault of the car driver behind, because they were too close to the vehicle in front.
The 'Drive Down'
This is where a criminal drives behind the victims car in an adjacent lane on a motorway or dual carriageway. The criminal will then wave the victim on to pull in front of them and then deliberately drive into them from behind. They will then deny that they waved them on and claim that the victims car just pulled in front of them without warning.
How to avoid being a victim of a car accident scam
Your best defence against this kind of crime is to be 'aware' that it does happen, and to adopt good driving habits like not following the car in front too closely. You will never be totally immune from determined criminals, but be prepared to raise questions with the police should you be involved in any accident that seems a little suspicious.
Please give us a call us on 0845 6768898 or start your claim enquiry using our online claim form.