More than 70 people appeared in Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court in Wales this week charged in connection with alleged crash for cash scams.
The court appearances followed Gwent Police’s Operation Dino, a complex investigation into fraudulent insurance claims after suspect crashes throughout south Wales.
The defendants are accused of conspiring with others to defraud companies involved in the insurance industry by making and submitting false claims.
All those who appeared in court were remanded to appear at Newport Crown Court on Wednesday, June 28, to face a single charge each of conspiracy to defraud.
Check out our guide to spotting a crash for cash scam, discover the UK’s crash for cash hotspots and learn how to avoid being a crash for cash victim.
IFB set up to target increasing crash for cash fraud
The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) was set up in 2006 to clamp down on organised insurance fraud.
At any one time, 30 to 40 criminal gangs are under investigation by the IFB.
Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. Honest policyholders pick up the collective bill for fraud through increased premiums – adding roughly £50 a year to the average policy cost.
And it is estimated that insurance fraud costs the industry around £400 million a year.
Crash for cash scammers generally have three modus operandi:
- Two vehicles, both in the hands of the criminals, will be deliberately crashed together away from the public eye. Sometimes the fraudsters may just take a sledge hammer to the vehicles to replicate the effects of a genuine impact.
- The fraudster targets an innocent motorist to become the “at fault” driver. Typically the fraudster’s car will pull in front of the victim, slam on the brakes and be shunted from the rear.
- Sometimes the fraudsters don’t actually bother crashing cars at all. These are paper-based frauds, which involve submitting completely fabricated claims for accidents which never took place, and in some cases for cars that don’t even exist.
There is a free and confidential crash for cash Cheatline, supported by Crimestoppers, on 0800 422 0421.