SCAM: ‘Flash-for-cash’ fraud increasing
Road safety charity DriveSafe are urging motorists not to take courtesy for granted in the face of the new ‘flash-for-cash’ scam – and insist offenders should face heavy prison sentences.
Fraud authorities are reporting a growing trend of criminals enticing motorists to pull out in front of them by flashing their lights, then driving into them and submitting personal injury claims.
According to anti-fraud investigator APU, about 380 false insurance claims are being made daily, costing the motor industry £17million-a-year and pushing up insurance premiums.
Fay Goodman, Founder and Spokesperson for DriveSafe, said: “This is an appalling ruse that not only hits all motorists in the pocket but could result in a fatality.
“Those drivers most at risk are lone women, women with young children and the elderly because fraudsters believe they will not challenge them on the scene.
“Criminals are cynically exploiting the courtesy and good manners that reduce stress while driving and help maintain traffic flow.
“Lengthy prison sentences should be imposed as a deterrent against such dangerous and unscrupulous behaviour.
“According to the Highway Code, a flashing light should be interpreted as a warning that a car is there but over time it has also come to be regarded as a gesture of courtesy.
“We should continue to show such courtesy but at the same time assess every situation carefully and not take the courtesy of others for granted.”
Neil Thomas of APU added: “The adoption of flashing headlights and beckoning the driver results in a ‘your word against mine’ situation when it comes to apportioning blame.
“The criminal holds the victim at fault for turning across him which, of course, cannot be denied under law.”
DriveSafe published a driver’s handbook, ‘DriveSafe – An Essential Guide for Motorists’, in association with Aston University last year.