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Common Road Traffic Accident Scams

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 13 Nov 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Traffic Accident Scams Avoiding Traffic

There are numerous traffic accident scams circulating in the UK at any given time. With the increase in personal injury claims up and insurance claims skyrocketing, the Insurance Fraud Bureau is responsible for investigating every suspected false insurance claim. Due to the number of possible suspect claims, it's almost impossible to fully investigate them all, hence many scams and false claims fall under the radar.

In the last 9 years or so, fraudulent insurance investigators have exposed over 25,000 false or staged accidents. Some suggest that criminals are cashing in on over 200 million pounds a year so clearly there is money to be made in traffic scams.

Organised Traffic Scams

Throughout the UK there are numerous criminal gangs operating purely to set up traffic accidents. They then place personal injury claims to benefit from the cash that can be made there and are receiving huge cash payouts from doing so. Many gangs will help each other stage accidents with unsuspecting motorists by setting up a situation that encourages a serious crash or minor accident.

Insurance fraud investigators believe that setting up such situations isn't as difficult as it may at first appear, with many of these teams of traffic criminals strategically waiting at certain locations ready to pounce on their victim. There are a number of common scams that exist and knowing what to look out for can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a victim

The Swoop and Squat

Often when stuck in heavy traffic on the motorways of the UK, people become frustrated and start seeking short cuts to exit the traffic. It's very common for the driver in front of you to be forced to slam on the breaks when another driver cuts in front of him. Sadly for you, if you're going even slightly too fast, there's a high probability you may rear-end the driver in front. In many cases this is a genuine accident, but in some it's not - it's an organised gang seeking to extort money through insurance fraud.

Known to police as the 'swoop and squat', this manoeuvre is named aptly. The first car will swoop in while the second car squats in front of you. Normally the 'squat' car is filled with passengers who will all claim that you rear-ended them. Your insurance will be contacted with fake claims of whiplash or other difficult to confirm injuries. They will normally even go to the extent of attending hospital or doctors surgeries looking for medical advice. This will serve them well in the long run as it makes their claim look more genuine.

The Sideswipe

Another common traffic accident scam is the 'sideswipe'. The sideswipe is miraculously easy to pull off as all it entails is you drifting slightly out of your lane when turning a corner. The car next to you will intentionally speed up so that you bump them and this is then considered a sideswipe. Because you're outside your own lane, even marginally, the car has a claim against you and will often pursue this along with personal injury claims.

The Drive Down

One of the cruellest and easiest traffic scams to carry out is the 'drive down'. In a busy section of traffic, you may be struggling to get out of your lane as you attempt to merge into the main flow of traffic. The driver behind you will wave you on, as though allowing you to enter the lane in front of him. At this stage they will actually speed up to slam into the back of your car. Of course when the authorities arrive at the scene, it will look like you came out into the lane unlawfully and the driver of the other car will deny ever giving you permission to pull in front of him.

The T-Bone

The T-Bone is a difficult traffic scam manoeuvre to pull off as it requires exact placement of not only you and the other car, but also of witnesses. What tends to happen is that you will be about to cross an intersection and a car from a side street will accelerate to hit you. It can give you quite the shock and often panic clouds your judgement on what actually happened. When the police arrive, the driver of the other car and all of the planted witnesses will try and claim that you weren't paying attention or went through the traffic lights on red. This of course can be a very difficult situation to be in and can take months to counter-arguing to prove you weren't the guilty party.

Protecting Yourself from Traffic Accident Scams

Unfortunately there are no fail-safe ways of completely protecting yourself from these traffic accident scams, but being aware of them means you're better educated to spot them. Always avoid tailgating and drive responsibly. If you are involved in an accident, get as many details as possible and if you can, get photos of the scene. Contact the correct authorities to help with your case and hopefully you will be able to avoid these cruel scams.

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[continued] consulted our motability insurance, my husband having related the entire event to them and they reassured him he had done the right thing and had told us the details to pass on. When the ladies from the other vehicle called they in exchange gave their details and did not report any further development of health issues. As I said this was over 2 years ago, however we have now received papers through our letterbox stating that they are suing my husband for damage to their vehicle AND to themselves. Each is claiming to have sustained various vague injuries, for which they attended neither A&E nor a GP for at the time or at any point after & claim to have 'self medicated' with over the counter pain medication andboth taken a week of work. Their medical assesments were carried out 9 months after the accident and 1 month after they both report their injuries & symptoms to have completly ceased. The assessing Dr for the company handling the case intheir report confirms at this assesment they show no signs of any issues now. However saying they believe the symptoms they reported to them as having to be consistent to the accident that they detailed and which they base their assesment on. Though it is worded with much more authority than that. But their symptoms are vague and something you can just Google. They have no proof or records for it. I can say I'm a unicorn but it's just words. Their statements are embellished and the assessing Drs write up of their recount of it even differs from that which they've directly written in their signed account in the serving papers. Quite fundamentally on their position upon impact. There are also various typos in the serving papers and the report from the assessors of their vehicle estimating repair cost is so badly photocopied you can't see any of the dozen pictures attached. They're just black smudges. As it's addressed directly to my husband and is against him personally he's in a huge panic and neither of us need this extra anxiety right now. He's shocked as am I that this absolutely is rubbish could be presented so officially and he's at a loss as what to do as neither of us have had anything like this happen before. I've reassured him it'll be ok but I'm out of my depth. What are the possible outcomes? Do I just sent this to our motability insurance people and leave it and that's it? It says we have 14days only to reply or the case will be decided against us. Can somebody give advice?
CMTL - 13-Nov-17 @ 12:14 PM
My husband was involved in a minor bump just over two years ago while driving my motability car to run errands for me (I'm mobility impaired and cannot drive.) The collision occured at low speed with another driver who attempted to leave their parking space at the same time as my husband. They were each in almost opposite parking bays, orientated so that the other driver was slightly up from him & on his right. They both reversed out to the same direction: her to her left & him to his right. My husband had taken a wider line (our car being a large estate SEAT which at this point my husband was still cautious of its size as we had had it only about 3months and he hadn't much experience driving anything as large prior to this vehicle.) and was backed further out of his space than the other driver & subsequently was more into the road upon collision than thee other vehicle. Which had taken a tighter line, being a much smaller hatchback (which was older & the driver had presumably had longer as it had existing signs of prior minor damage.) They were both moving upon contact. My husband moving about 3mph, however he reported to our insurance company 'certainly under 5mph' because he wanted to be sure & having never been in an accident before was very flustered. He can't be sure how fast the other vehicle pulled out. The other vehicle did not sound it's horn prior or after contact. The impact point on our vehicle was a trimmed part of the vehicle not a painted panel and sustained very little damage beyond an impact mark. The other vehicles impact point was a rear door panel which sustained a small dent and scratching following to the right of the dent. My husband had my daughter (his stepdaughter) in the car. Upon applying his brakes as the two cars met, he assessed her to make sure she wasn't worried by the bump and to explain he had to get out and t all to the other car. It was at such low speed she hadn't had much of a reaction and she confirmed she wasn't jostled or jarred to any extent. She was more concerned with how flustered my husband was. The other vehicle had an adult passenger and she also got out with the driver to speak to my husband. My husband took pictures of the damage and the other cars number plate on his phone and gave them his name, address and number so they could call him to exchange insurance details later; due to the fact that the motability car insurance is held under my name as the ownership lease is to me. He explained this to them and took their their number down also. They agreed to contact him later. He obviously asked if they were both ok to which they confirmed they were. Neither appeared in any discomfort, they both remained much calmer than my husband, though tried to get him to confirm he hadn't looked and had driven into them. Which he didn't do and he argued against, with them then coming to a point of that they had both reversed into each other. Later they indeed contacted him. We had already
MCL - 13-Nov-17 @ 11:57 AM
Joe- Your Question:
I think my brother is also a victim of this Scam. As a biker cut him off & came front of him then stop. Leaving him No time to brake causing minor accident. Then call his mate at 12.30am 8/9 appeared from No wear that is not normal behaviour. Biker was swearing kicking and behaving unacceptable manor. Then within 5 minutes his mates join in too.?

Our Response:
Were the police informed?
TrafficAccidentAdvice - 1-Sep-15 @ 12:58 PM
I think my brother is also a victim of this Scam . As a biker cut him off & came front of him then stop . Leaving him No time to brake causing minor accident. Then call his mate at 12.30am 8/9 appeared from No wear that is not normal behaviour. Biker was swearing kicking and behaving unacceptable manor . Then within 5 minutes his mates join in too.?
Joe - 31-Aug-15 @ 10:23 PM
Actually, there is a fool fail-safe way of avoiding car accident scams; instal a small DVR car cam. This will record the journey and events towards the front of the vehicle. Good DVR's will actually also easily come out of the vehicle, so you can record the physical damage to the cars involved from the outside, and also the other people involved and their injuries. The thing to be careful of is to avoid suction cup mounted car cams as these are unlawful in the UK and EU; The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 Automotive Directive 77/649/EEC We produce what we believe is the only legal budget car cam in the UK / EU; the vCam (visit vcam.eu). It is lawful to use because it mounts onto the forward side of the passenger sun visor (an excellent position to record from) and thus can not be seen by the driver (does not distract them or block their view ahead). vCam lougs into your cigar lighter socket and turns on / starts recording when you turn the ignition on and turns off after a short while when you switch the igntion off. It continually records, ovewriting older video with new until you have an accident / witness some5thing (such as an illegal driver). You can then replay the event on vCam's own LCD screen (to show the police) and / or download the video to provide to your insurance company. Regards vCam EU
vCam Ltd - 19-Aug-12 @ 10:27 AM
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