Birmingham is UK’s ‘crash for cash’ hotspot

Birmingham is UK’s ‘crash for cash’ hotspot
Criminals who stage road traffic collisions in order to make fraudulent insurance claims are operating in several hotspots across the UK, data shows.

In a new list of so-called ‘crash for cash’ hotspots, areas of Birmingham and Bradford make up the five worst offending postcodes, with others across Walsall, Blackburn and Romford featuring in the top 10.

The Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), which released the figures, says single gangs can be behind thousands of orchestrated collisions in some areas, with the combined value of fraudulent claims running into millions.

Of the 2.7 million motor insurance claims made across the UK between October 2019 and December 2020, IFB identified more than 170,000 potentially linked to 'crash for cash' networks.

Postcodes B25, B34 and B8 in Birmingham are the three areas most affected by this type of scam, while BD7 and BD3 in Bradford follow as the most at-risk locales.

Parts of Wakefield, Oldham, Halifax, Manchester, Leeds, London, Luton, High Wycombe and Ilford also feature as prominent areas in the list of 30.

RankPostcodeArea
1B25Birmingham
2B34Birmingham
3B8Birmingham
4BD7Bradford
5BD3Bradford
6WS1Walsall
7BB9Blackburn
8BD8Bradford
9B27Birmingham
10RM18Romford
11B33Birmingham
12WF13Wakefield
13BD15Bradford
14OL8Oldham
15HX1Halifax
16M8Manchester
17LS8Leeds
18N9North London
19WF16Wakefield
20LU3Luton
21WS2Walsall
22BD2Bradford
23BD5Bradford
24B11Birmingham
25HP12High Wycombe
26B28Birmingham
27RM8Romford
28LU4Luton
29IG3Ilford
30BD9Bradford

Ben Fletcher, director at the IFB, said: “'Crash for cash' fraudsters bring devastation to countless victims and increase motor insurance costs for us all.

“The IFB’s hotspot analysis is a stark reminder that although great strides have been taken in tackling the problem, these car crash scams are all too common.

“As traffic levels return to normal following the national lockdown, 'crash for cash' fraudsters may look to make up for lost time. It is hoped that by shining a spotlight on the issue we will encourage road users to be alert and report any suspicious activity to the IFB’s Cheatline.”

In Birmingham, the Bureau said it had recently worked with City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) to convict a serial crash for cash fraudster, who had spent more than two years luring innocent people into crashes.

The IFB says all drivers should be aware of suspicious driving behaviour, such as motorists who slam on their brakes on busy junctions and roundabouts.

Motorists should always keep a good distance from the vehicle in front, stay alert for any potential hazards in the road, and know the signs that could accompany a staged crash, such as a driver or passengers who may appear unfazed.

Road users can report suspicious activity to the IFB’s Cheatline on 0800 422 0421 or at www.insurancefraudbureau.org/cheatline.

Have you encountered crash for cash scammers before? Share your experience in the comments.

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