Crash for cash accidents soar to record levels as crooks target ‘White van man’


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The Independent Online

Crash-for-cash motor accidents are reaching record levels. Insurer Aviva trawled through its claims data to discover that fraudulent ‘slam-ons’ – accidents deliberately caused in order to claim for whiplash compensation – increased by 51 per cent in 2013.

The company – which insures around one in 10 UK cars – wants tougher penalties for fraudsters. It points out that they often end up being sentenced just to community orders, which don’t deter them from targeting further innocent motorists.

Organised gangs are behind half of all the fake motor injury claims Aviva uncovers. Tom Gardiner, head of claims fraud at the firm, said: “Fraudsters are prepared to put the safety of innocent motorists and their families and passengers at risk for their own personal gain.”

But fresh research published today suggests that “white van man” is becoming the main target of criminals running crash-for-cash fraud rings.

Light commercial vehicles have been involved in almost a third of all deliberate collisions caused by the gangs in a trend that has emerged in the last 12 months, reported anti-fraud firm APU.

Fraudsters target professional vehicles like vans because they are most likely to be fully insured and their drivers are often working to a tight deadline and are therefore less likely to dispute liability.

Neil Thomas, of APU and a former Detective Inspector of West Midlands Police, said: “Criminal fraud gangs are becoming more sophisticated. They are thinking hard about exactly who they target on the roads and it’s based on solid logic.”

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