Drivers have been urged to watch out for staged crashes as criminals attempt to make money out of insurance scams.
The likeliest spots for "crash for cash" cons in which innocent drivers can be caught up are Bradford and Birmingham, followed by Bolton, Manchester, London, Liverpool and Halifax.
Warning that such crashes can happen at anytime, anywhere, the Insurance Fraud Bureau and Crimestoppers have called for information on people making bogus claims, in a crime that can cost policyholders more than £390 million every year.
Crash for cash gangs target unsuspecting drivers by staging crashes in order to make claims against them. By exaggerating personal injury claims as well as vehicle damage, claims made by scammers can be as high as £30,000. So, honest drivers can end up footing the bill, withcar insurance firms paying out for accidents that have been deliberately caused by con artists.
Organised criminals can make hundreds of claims, with crashes coordinated in individual towns and cities. A special cheatline has been set up to combat the phenomenon, on 0800 422 0421.
IFB director Ben Fletcher said that such scams are not a victimless crime - drivers can be hit in the pocket, as well as being put in harm's way on the roads. While fraudsters are prevalent in certain hotspots, he warned that such staged crashes can happen "anywhere and at any time".
He added: "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."
Copyright Press Association 2013