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Raging crash-fraud costs millions

2013-01-03 09:13

ANTI-FRAUD GROUP: 'Crash for cash' fraud is costing other road users millions in premiums payments.

LONDON, England - ‘Crash for Cash’ fraudsters in the UK are “gambling with lives” and costing honest insurance policyholders nearly £400-million a year.

Criminal gangs are deliberately causing crashes with innocent motorists and faking accidents across the UK to make fraudulent insurance claims. They make money by submitting exaggerated claims for personal injury and loss of earnings, car rental and damage repair - even claims for bogus passengers.

The financial consequence, the Insurance Fraud Bureau says, is that every honest policyholder picks up the collective bill for the fraud through increased premiums.

'STARKER RISKS'


The IFB, established to clamp down on criminal gangs running ‘Crash for Cash’ scams, has linked about one in seven personal injury claims (69 500) to organised fraud in its new report ‘Crash for Cash – Putting the Brakes on Fraud’. The report urges people to blow the whistle on such fraudsters by calling a Cheatline number anonymously.

IFB chairman David Neave said: “Fraudsters don’t just scam the insurance industry, they pick the pockets of every honest policyholder whose premiums increase to cover the costs of fraud. But in ‘crash for cash’ insurance fraud poses even starker risks to society. Fraudsters motivated by greed are gambling with the lives of innocent road users by deliberately causing crashes up and down the country.

“Criminal gangs organising multi-million pound ‘crash for cash’ scams are also using the profits of their fraud to fund other crimes plaguing British society, including illegal firearms, drugs and peopl- trafficking. Far from being a victimless crime, insurance fraud is serious and something of which we all need to be wary..”

The IFB is co-ordinating 40 police operations across the UK that are investigating and dismantling ‘crash for cash’ scams worth £66.6-million in potential loses to insurers.

The report exposes the gangs' methods. They recruit and coerce people from local communities to stage and induce crashes for cash payments. The gangs’ webs of deceit run deep, with recovery and storage companies, motor engineers, car repair shops, doctors and lawyers among the professionals being corrupted or duped into helping present genuine-looking claims to insurers.

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