Don’t get Caught out by Flash for Cash Scammers

cash for flashYou’ve heard of Crash for Cash, but have you heard of Flash for Cash? Motorists are being warned of a new scam where criminals will flash their lights at a junction in order to let a vehicle out; then deliberately crash into it to make an insurance claim.

Modern motoring can be combative at times and a show of manners by other road users can be a welcome surprise. However, it seems that the insurance cheats are determined to take away such simple pleasures by changing our driving habits.

Insurance scams cost an estimated £392 million a year; adding £50-100 to the price of every policy. It’s a hefty financial price to pay, not to mention the physical and emotional costs of being involved in an accident.

Crash for Cash scams can net criminal gangs tens of thousands of pounds, with bogus personal injury whiplash claims, inflated repair bills, replacement car hire costs and even financial compensation for ‘loss of earnings’.

Over the years the insurance fraudsters have become more ‘sophisticated’ (they have even started removing their brake light bulbs so other motorists aren’t warned when they are stopping) and Flash for Cash is their latest tactic.

Neil Thomas of the Asset Protection Unit said “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 cannot be denied under law.”

Mr Thomas goes on to point out that the scammers target the most vulnerable motorists, those unlikely to put-up a roadside fight, such as the elderly or mums on the school run with a car full of kids.

Flash for Cash scams are difficult to disprove in court as they are often one person’s word against another, with no independent evidence. Remember that Highway Code states that lights should only be flashed to warn other road users of your presence and by responding to them as an ‘invitation’ to pull-out you could be prosecuted for careless driving.

So while the legislation is clear it’s unfortunate that courteous and law-abiding motorists are paying such a high price.


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