Motorists warned of new 'hide and crash' tactic

AX, a provider of intelligent vehicle protection and management technologies for the automotive and insurance industries, said that the new method involves hiding in a driver's blind-spot before quickly moving in front to 'slam on' the brakes.
Dubbed 'hide and crash', it's one of the top five most common tactics currently used by fraudsters to induce accidents and make false insurance claims.
"This new tactic is a dangerous progression of the existing slam-on approach," commented Neil Thomas, director of Investigative Services at AX. "Criminals can take cover in a driver's blind spot, wait for the ideal moment, then accelerate and move into their pathway before slamming on the brakes."
The most common tactic remains the traditional slam-on accident, where a vehicle in front intentionally brakes hard in order to catch out the driver behind. Other crash-for-cash methods include 'flash for crash', when a driver flashes their lights to beckon another vehicle forward but then drives into them; 'crash for ready cash', when a third party requests cash to fix their vehicle after they have induced a collision; and 'hire and crash', where a criminal hires a car and stages an accident with another vehicle, usually someone they know.
According to fraud prevention service Cifas, crash-for-cash incidents cost insurers £340m annually, leading to higher premiums for motorists and businesses.
Roundabouts are the most common locations for suspected crash-for-cash scams, followed by busy motorways, traffic lights and T-junctions.
Thomas added: "Detecting new methods deployed by gangs is notoriously difficult and without video evidence, it is often difficult to prove who was really at fault. Intelligence-sharing among insurers and the authorities can help, nevertheless drivers should always be vigilant. Collectively, we can minimise the impact of these increasingly sophisticated criminals."
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