White van man, watch out – you are being targeted by gangs running ‘crash for cash’ staged accident scams, reveals new evidence.
Anti-fraud firm APU has discovered that light commercial vehicles were involved in a THIRD of all cash for crash scams in the past 12 months. They have become the focus of criminal gangs because they’re often fully insured and on a tight deadline.
Simply put, white van man doesn’t have the time to argue the case, but does have the comprehensive insurance policies that will sort it all out – and con-men know this.
The Ford Transit is at particular risk: it is the only van that appears in the top 20 for general insurance claims but is number one in the top 20 ‘induced accident’ chart – a staggering 15.2% of all ‘cash for crash’ claims involve the popular Transit van.
There are five other light commercial vehicle vans in the top 20 induced claim chart, meaning the Transit, Mercedes Sprinter, Vauxhall Vivaro, Citroen Berlingo, Volkswagen Transporter and Volkswagen Tipper make up an eye-opening 31% of deliberate induced accident claims.
White van man target scam ‘based on solid logic’
APU director of investigative services Neil Thomas, a former West Midlands DI, said: “This is yet another example of how criminal gangs are becoming more sophisticated – they are thinking quite hard about exactly who they target on the roads and it’s based on solid logic.
“Britain’s LCV drivers are a hard-working lot are very often pushed for time, so they are less likely to stand by the side of the road arguing the case about a collision.
“The criminals are banking on the fact that they will simply exchange insurance details and move on.”
Crash for cash scams include the fraudster pulling out in front of the target and slamming on the brakes. There’s a newer ‘Flash for cash’ scams too: criminals flash drivers out of junctions then drive into the victim’s car – this is harder for innocent drivers to prove fault.
So what’s Thomas’ tip for LCV drivers? Be vigilant for any suspicious activity on the roads, maintain concentration at all times and follow the basic rules of safe driving.
White van man, you have been warned!