Caught on camera: the crooks who caused a crash to rip-off us all
The moment when a crash-for-cash gang targeted an innocent victim by creating a motorway accident has been caught on tape. The shock scenes – see video below – were taken from the victim’s car and used in court to help convict the criminals. But the staged “accident” is just one example of what is becoming the most common type of fraud in the UK, according to Aviva.
The insurer says motor injury fraud, now accounts for 54 per cent of Aviva’s total detected claims fraud costs. And more than half are from organised so-called “cash for crash” claims.
Organised fraud is often linked to wider gang-related crime – and puts innocent motorists at risk.
One of the more audacious staged accidents took placein Newcastle in 2009 when a mini-bus allegedly travelling from Newcastle to Edinburgh for a stag-event was supposed to have caused a collision with another car in a tunnel, resulting in alleged whiplash injuries to all occupants.
The scale of the injuries proportional to the supposed collision raised suspicions and further investigation by Aviva’s Special Investigations Unit and local Police was able to prove that the accident was entirely bogus.
Specifically, CCTV showed that the other vehicle involved in the accident wasn’t at the scene at all. Aviva also linked the driver and passenger of the other vehicle to the occupants of the mini bus through social media sites.
Instead of the reported collision, the mini bus had been deliberately damaged elsewhere and then taken to the scene of the incident, where debris was scattered and the accident “staged”.
Tom Gardiner, Head of Fraud at Aviva, said: “We are witnessing a trend toward third party, injury and organised fraud. For example, in 2013, we identified fraud in one in nine, third party injury claims.”
The insurance giant detected more than £110m-worth of insurance fraud in 2013 – a 19 per cent increase compared with 2012. It said it detects over 45 fraudulent claims per day worth more than a total of £300,000.
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