'Crash for cash' scams on the rise

Figures have revealed an increase in "crash for cash" driving scams across the country.

The scams involve drivers staging a crash in order to claim thousands of pounds from innocent motorists'car insurance.

The fraudulent activities have typically been carried out in the north west of England, but areas of London have entered the top 10 scam spots for the first time.

Data shows that the sixth position was claimed by east London and the ninth by north London.

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) estimates around 30,000 accidents are staged each year, with each claim averaging around £17,000.

It costs insurers about £350 million, adding £44 to the premium of every driver in the country.

Birmingham is the UK's top fraud hot spot, the IFB said, with the other top places taken by Liverpool, Blackburn, Manchester and Leeds.

Fraudsters usually brake suddenly on a clear road or roundabout to make an innocent motorist drive into the back of their vehicle.

They go on to claim for personal injury, damage to the car and recovery fees.

Sgt Mark Beales, from Greater Manchester Police, warned that criminals targeted their victims carefully.

He told the BBC: "What these fraudsters tend to pick on are people who are single mums or elderly people, people who are less likely to cause them any issues.

"They also target drivers of commercial vehicles, because drivers tend not to care as much if they're not driving their own vehicle."

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