Insurance fraudsters have created a new technique for causing profitable traffic collisions, a claim investigator has revealed (APU Ltd). This “flash for cash” scam is alarmingly simple. The fraudster travels (say) on a main road that has a smaller road joining on the left via a t-junction. The criminal, of course, has right of way as defined by the rules of the road. He then spots a vehicle waiting at the t-junction and flashes his lights to indicate that he will allow the driver to move safely onto the main road. However, the moment the innocent party commits to the manoeuvre the fraudster accelerates and causes a collision. He then claims that he did not flash his lights, the innocent driver is blamed as he/she moved into oncoming traffic, and the crook receives insurance money for whiplash, etc. Fraudsters commit this crime close to fuel stations too.
Fraud Expert Discusses Flash For Cash
Neil Thomas, APU’s Director of Investigative Services and former Detective Inspector of West Midlands Police, said: “It is yet another example of how criminal gangs are becoming more sophisticated and attempting to stay one step ahead of suspicion. The adoption of flashing headlights and beckoning the driver results in a 'your word against mine’ situation when it comes to apportioning blame.” Mr Thomas added: “By appearing to offer the right of way, the criminal simply continues his journey into a collision, holding the victim at fault for turning across him which, of course, cannot be denied under law.”
Rear-End Shunt Scam
The flash for cash technique has been created as insurance companies – and fraud investigators such as APU Ltd – have become increasingly wise to the now familiar “rear-end shunt” scam. This requires the criminal to position his car ahead of a victim then approach (say) a roundabout. He then brakes very late, very hard, or at an unexpected point so the following car cannot stop. Once again, the fraudster claims innocence as he was struck from behind by someone that was “not paying proper attention” or “driving too close”, etc. To increase the chance of success, a fraudster might remove his brake lights to delay the victim's reaction. The defence against these techniques is to keep a sensible distance from traffic, watch for erratic behaviour at junctions/roundabouts, and to treat any offer to move into someone's path with caution.