Staged Road Traffic Accident Scams

Getting into a car accident is bad enough, what with the damaged car, the possible injuries and car insurance claim. What's worse is that in some cases the accident was a planned, coordinated effort, and innocent drivers become unknowingly involved in an car insurance scam.

Crash-for-cash or staged rear-ending, as it is known, is where a scammer will slam on their brakes unexpectedly, causing the car behind to crash into them. This new variation sees the scammers demanding cash on the spot from the other driver following the crash.

Staged Road Traffic Accident Scams

The head of fraud at Aviva, Tom Gardiner told the daily mail newspaper: “Although it is early days, we are seeing anecdotal evidence of fraudsters deliberately causing an accident and then pressuring the target – or ‘at fault’ party – into paying them money in exchange for not making an insurance claim.

“We are concerned that fraudsters could end up targeting the most vulnerable motorists – the elderly, young drivers and women who are travelling alone or with young children.”

Mr Gardiner also described an incident which involved the scammer offering a motorist a lift to a cash machine so that they could withdraw cash.

Staged car accident scammers are vulnerable to facts. The more information you provide, the more equipped you are to fight an insurance scam.

It is very important provide information such as the name, phone number and address of the other driver, the car’s registration number, make and model, insurance details, and the names, phone numbers and addresses of all passengers in the car.

If the victim has a mobile phone or camera, they should take photos of the damage to all vehicles involved from all angles. The Gardaí should be called to the scene and asked to note the damage to the cars.

You should also call your insurance company and give as much information as possible so they can comprehensively investigate the matter.

Alex Todd Brand Manager at 25plus commented "Unfortunately there are no fail-safe ways of completely protecting yourself from these traffic accident scams. Always leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you so that you have enough distance to stop if the vehicle in front brakes suddenly."