Sunday, December 10, 2006

Mysterious New Crime Outbreak

As reported by Norwich Union and a number of other insurers.

'Cash for crash' insurance scam hotspots revealed

More than 22,000 fraudulently-staged and induced motor accidents have taken place on UK roads since 1999 and the practice is spreading, it was revealed today.


Insurance fraud, eh ? How does it work ?

Typically in such cases, fraudsters drive to busy road junctions and perform unexpected, unnecessary and dangerous emergency stops designed to cause innocent members of the public to crash into them.

Claims are made to the innocent motorist's insurer, often including several accounts of fictitious injuries from members of the criminal gang.

For each successful scam, the criminals can net up to £30,000 and the IFB said there was growing evidence to show that the proceeds from this type of fraud were used to fund other forms of serious crime, including drugs trafficking and gun running.

Fraudulent insurance claims meanwhile were adding 5% to the premiums paid by the honest public.


Where's this happening then ?

The "cash for crash" number one hotspot was Blackburn, where there have been 1,710 incidents over the last seven years, according to figures from the recently-formed Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB).

The next worst locations were Bradford (1,669 incidents), Birmingham (1,510), Oldham (1,034), Bolton (986) and Manchester (979). The scam was first spotted in North West of England but had now spread to London and the South East, said the IFB.


Blackburn, Bradford, Birmingham, Oldham, Bolton, Manchester. How very strange. I'm sure those places share something in common. Let's take a look at the detailed data (pdf).

After Manchester, the scallies of Liverpool - then Preston, East London, Luton. Still seeing the pattern. Twickenham, Harrow, Leeds, Southall. It's still there.

What have these places all got in common ? Obvious, isn't it. They all elect Labour or Lib Dem MPs !

UPDATE - the commenters at the Manchester Evening News have noticed too.

14 comments:

Blognor Regis said...

Well it makes a bit of change as it seems most of our new additions to diversity (celebrate, good times, etc..) don't bother with insurance. Or an MOT. Or even a licence. Doing the jobs the locals won't tdo: killing old ladies.

JuliaM said...

"...fraudsters drive to busy road junctions and perform unexpected, unnecessary and dangerous emergency stops designed to cause innocent members of the public to crash into them."

How are we supposed to tell a potential fraudster from all the other idiotic drivers out there, prone to doing exactly the same...?

Anonymous said...

How are we supposed to tell a potential fraudster from all the other idiotic drivers out there, prone to doing exactly the same...?

If you crash into the back of someone, the insurer takes the view that you couldn't stop in time. Ergo you were too close.

I actually know a little about this problem and there is more to it. The fraudster will often act in collusion with roadside witnesses. They frequently use the handbrake to avoid the brake lights coming on. I've even heard of people putting the car into reverse to make sure there is a collision.

AntiCitizenOne said...

Insurance Jizya eh?

I thought profiting from "gambling" was immoral for 'slammers.

Juliam said...

Indeed anon, I take your point that there really are such fraudsters out there.

However, the standard of driving in the UK is so utterly appalling (in some inner city areas, at least) that I wouldn't see an example like the one given as potentially fraudulent, but more a case of 'God, another idiot on the road who seems to have got his driving license free in a packet of cornflakes'....

Anonymous said...

The standard of driving in the UK (outside of inner cities perhaps) is actually very good compared with some european countries.

JuliaM said...

"The standard of driving in the UK (outside of inner cities perhaps) is actually very good compared with some european countries."

Well, I have no way of knowing the nationality of the drivers concerned unles they have the country indicator on the numberplate (which many don't).

I doubt the recent wave of idiots on the road in my local area is attributable to the recent influx of Eastern European workers.

Anonymous said...

"How are we supposed to tell a potential fraudster"

A few basic warning signs (from my experience of living 'up North');

Cars with three or four young Asian men in -- keep well clear. Don't get too close, especially if travelling behind. If you notice the driver repeatedly looking in his rearview mirror the best thing you can do it simply stop and let them disappear into the distance.

If pulling out of a side street, never ever accept an invitation to "go first" by a car that has right of way, e.g. if he flashes you with his headlights -- this especially applies if it's a car containing 3 or 4 young... etc. The minute you pullout they will accelerate and crash into the side of your car and then claim you simply pulled out without looking. Hey presto, four £5,000 claims for whiplash!

A few years ago it was common knowledge that you never used your credit card round these parts if the shop (and especially petrol station) proprietor fitted a certain profile -- the chances of having your card cloned were just too great. Cheap and pin has reduced that, so the enterprising chaps have merely diversified -- hence the explosion in staged car crashes.

Anonymous said...

doh, 'cheap and pin' = 'chip and pin'.

Anonymous said...

Juliam - I meant based on my experience driving in other countries.

joe said...

More doing the jobs the locals wont do:killing old ladies

http://www.woking.co.uk/news/article/article_id=16960.html

Hammad Farooqi, 43, of Hillside, Woking, was fined £560 and given six penalty points by the town’s magistrates on Monday.
He ran over 78-year-old Sylvia Roach after mounting the pavement as she walked a dog along Guildford Road, the court heard.
Former neighbours of hers in Brooklyn Road have criticised his punishment as ‘ridiculous’.

Anonymous said...

There's a pattern there. I just can't see it though.

The only thing that's apparent to me, is the incidents all seem to happen in high minority ethnic areas.

Kinda spooky, huh?

Heh...he...he

Anonymous said...

joe, strange, I can't find that story about Hammad Farooqi anywhere - Are you sure you didn't make it up?

Laban said...

http://www.thebestof.co.uk/woking/news/26830