Motorists have been warned by APU, the motor accident fraud investigation organisation of a dangerous new method being used by organised criminal gangs to claim insurance for fake accidents.
Flash-for-cash, as it is known, involves gang members or their associates flashing headlights the headlights of a car to entice innocent drivers into the path of a deliberate collision at junctions.
Fraudsters are most likely to target cars driving by exits from shops, car parks or fuel stations where they offer their victims a right of way to join a main road, but then speed up to ensure their car is hit side-on.
APU says the employment of the trick is on the rise and makes it harder for an innocent party to prove fault in the event of a legal dispute.
“It is yet another example of how criminal gangs are becoming more sophisticated and attempting to stay one step ahead of suspicion,” said Neil Thomas, APU’s Director of Investigative Services and former Detective Inspector of West Midlands Police.
“The adoption of flashing headlights and beckoning the driver results in a ‘your word against mine’ situation when it comes to apportioning blame. By appearing to offer the right of way, the criminal simply continues his journey into a collision, holding the victim at fault for turning across him which, of course, cannot be denied under law,” he added.