Drivers are being cautioned about a new kind of fraud called “Flash and Crash” by the industry.
Auto insurance industry officials in the United Kingdom are cautioning motorists regarding a new type of scam that has developed and that is becoming more widespread in the country, called “flash and crash”.
The scam involves tricking drivers into thinking that a good Samaritan is helping them out.
The way that the auto insurance scam functions is that the fraudsters wait for victims to start to drive out of parking lots, gas stations, and other areas in which they will be entering a roadway. The scam artist flashes his or her headlights in what would typically be an indication that they are allowing a driver to join the road ahead of them. However, instead of slowing down or stopping, when the victim takes the bait, the fraudster speeds up, crashing into them side-on.
This, according to the Asset Protection Unit (APU), which is investigating this auto insurance fraud.
The APU is an investigation specialist in automotive fraud. It has found that the trend in this form of auto insurance fraud is increasing, having just started as a phenomenon at the beginning of 2013. The director of investigative services at APU, Neil Thomas, who is also a former detective inspector with the West Midlands Police, explained that this scam “is yet another example of how criminal gangs are becoming more sophisticated and attempting to stay one step ahead of suspicion.”
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The reason that this can become a rather complex form of auto insurance fraud to identify is that “The adoption of flashing headlights and beckoning the driver results in a ‘your word against mine’ situation when it comes to apportioning blame,” explained Thomas. When the fraudster appears to be offering the right of way, all he or she needs to do is continue forward in order to create a collision. This provides the opportunity to hold the victim at fault for cutting him or her off, which is exactly how the scene appears in a court setting.
Therefore, drivers are being warned to be very careful of auto insurance “flash and crash” scams that appear to be another form of “crash for cash” fraud.