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'Crash for cash' hotspots named

3/12/13

By Ian Lewis

Drivers in Birmingham and Bradford are the most likely to be targeted by "crash for cash" criminals, according to experts.

'Crash for cash' frauds are deliberately staged accidents to make money from car insurance claims.

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) and Crimestoppers have looked at where the scams are happening in the UK.

Motorists are also being urged to be vigilant, with London, Manchester, Liverpool, Bolton and Halifax named as other hotspots.

Motorists urged to be careful

The organisations say the "accidents" are putting road users' lives at risk, costing the country more than £390 million a year and fuelling other crimes such as drug and arms smuggling.

They are now appealing for anyone with information or suspicions about any such fraudsters to get in touch via their dedicated anonymous "Cheatline".

The 'crash for cash' criminals also exaggerate how much vehicle damage, personal injury and car hire has cost them with some individual claims reaching as much as £30,000.

But it is innocent motorists who end up paying for the claims, which are often coordinated by organised gangs.

'Crash for cash' scam hits motorists

IFB director Ben Fletcher, said: "Far from being a victimless crime, 'crash for cash' scams hit motorists in the pocket and put other road users in harm's way.

"While the hotspots show where fraudsters are prevalent the reality is that staged accidents can happen anywhere and at any time.

"Working with police forces across the country we've secured over 850 arrests to date and information from the Cheatline will help us bring more of these criminals to justice."

Roger Critchell, the director of operations at Crimestoppers, added: "This is a serious and organised crime that funds other crimes.

Car fraud hotline set up

"For this reason I would urge anyone who has information on those committing these premeditated incidents to contact Cheatline anonymously.

"We don't want to know who you are, only who the fraudsters are."

Cheatline can be contacted on 0800 422 0421 or via the website.


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