Fraudsters are employing a new tactic in their pursuit of a quick – and dangerous – buck, warns claims expert AX.
‘Hide and crash’ involves the criminal’s car hiding in your blind-spot, then accelerating abruptly, swerving in and slamming on the brakes.
Their aim is to get you to crash into the back of them. Generally speaking, it’s always the person behind who’s considered at fault, hence the fraudsters’ focus.
“This new tactic is a dangerous progression of the existing ‘slam on’ approach,” explains Neil Thomas, director of investigative services at AX.
“Criminals can take cover in a driver’s blind-spot, wait for the ideal moment, then accelerate and move into their pathway before slamming on the brakes.”
The top five tactics to induce accidents
Motor fraud costs drivers and insurers £340 million every year. Hide and crash is, in fact, an evolution of existing tactics used by criminals to put themselves at the blameless end of a smash.
These are the top five tricks to be aware of:
1. ‘Slam on’
This is exactly how it sounds. There’s no swerving and no hiding: just a needless application of the brakes to catch you out. Some drivers do so without the intention of causing a crash, to make you give them space.
2. Flash for crash
This involves someone flashing to let you out, only for them to accelerate and hit you. Because you’re being let out, it’s the other driver’s right of way, and therefore technically not his or her fault.
3. Crash for ready cash
This involves employing any of these tactics and more and then asking for cash to fix their car
4. Hide and crash
Hiding in the driver’s blind-spot, then accelerating, swerving in front and braking hard.
5. Hire and crash
The fraudster hires a car and stages an accident with a friend.
Where is most at risk for motor fraud?
Anywhere where you might find yourself encroaching on another driver’s right of way is a risk. This includes most roundabouts, especially those without CCTV, traffic lights and side road turnings.
Motorways, particularly when they’re busy, are popular for traditional ‘slam on’ tactics. This takes advantage of the automatic presumption of fault and the high speeds on motorways. It’s also hidden in the hustle and bustle.
Protecting yourself against fraudulent crashes
Dash cams can be a huge ally in the fight against motor fraud.
Double-check every move you make, especially when being ‘let out’. If you take your time, someone who is genuinely letting you out might move on. A fraudster could well linger, frustratedly gesturing for you to go.
Watch for passengers in the car in front of you looking back, too. This can be a sign that they’re getting ready for a ‘slam on’.