The police and insurance experts have warned the motoring public about a new form of crash for cash scam spreading the country.
The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) and City of London Police Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) have dubbed the new scam, ‘clip for cash’.
Unlike traditional crash for cash scams where fraudsters bump an already damaged car into another vehicle and try to claim on insurance, in the new ruse they accuse drivers of clipping their wing mirror.
They demand a cash settlement for the damage and become threatening if payment isn’t forthcoming.
More than 40 clip for cash incidents are being investigated but, due to a lack of public awareness of the issue, police fear many cases may be going unreported.
Clip for cash “an increasing threat for drivers”
Ursula Jallow, director at IFB, said: “Clip for cash is an increasing threat to drivers.
“These fraudsters trick innocent motorists into thinking they’ve caused genuine damage and then apply pressure tactics to get victims to hand over cash.”
Detective Inspector Philip Corcoran at IFED, said: “Crash for cash scams pose a real safety risk to the public, so it is concerning to see these fraudsters evolve their tactics to target more unsuspecting drivers.
Read our blog for advice on how to avoid falling victim to a motoring scam.
How does the scam work?
The con usually takes place on a residential road. As the victim drives by, the fraudster is parked in their car on the left-hand side and throws an object such as a large rock, at the side of the victim’s car to make an impact sound.
The startled driver is soon flashed by the fraudster’s car to get them to stop, before being accused of clipping their wing mirror (which has already been damaged).
The fraudster demands they hand over cash instantly – in some cases as much as £200 – or pressures them into visiting a cashpoint. In some instances where the victim has not agreed to handing over money, the culprit has become physically intimidating.
The Government has already provided guidance on what to do in the event of a road traffic accident.
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