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Mike Waters' blog: 19 November - Watch out

Date: 19 November 2015

Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company

Insurers are warning of a new wave of crime where criminal gangs are deliberately causing car accidents and then intimidating drivers into handing over cash on the scene.

We have been hearing about this sort of dangerous scam for a while but it seems that this is a new variant.

Criminals are asking for anything between £50 and £200 and are tending to target the elderly and anyone with children. In one case, criminals have even bullied the victim into driving to a cash machine to withdraw funds.

They have also been found texting or phoning the driver in the days after the crash to complain the damage was worse than they thought and then demanded more money.

This type of scam is estimated to cost the insurance industry £400million a year which means higher premiums for honest and innocent drivers.

It's not always easy to spot this kind of behaviour on the road but the insurers are providing some simple tips to keep you out of trouble.

  • If you feel threatened or are asked for money following an accident - call the police and ask them to attend the scene of the accident.
  • Never admit fault and certainly never hand over money.
  • Take down the other driver's name, address, phone and registration numbers.
  • Make a note of how many passengers were in the car and take photos of the accident.
  • If you are suspicious, report the crash to the Insurance Fraud Bureau's Cheatline - 0800 422 0421.