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North London among worst places in UK for ‘crash for cash’ scams

56North London is one of the UK’s top black spots for “crash for cash” road traffic accident scams.

Four areas of the capital are in a top ten list of “induced accident” hotspots in the UK, according to a

study by insurers Aviva.

East London and parts of north-west London also feature in the rankings, which group areas by

postal districts.

The N post code, which came second in the list, includes parts of Hackney, Islington, Camden and


Aviva detected more than 3,000 organised crash for cash claimants last year – or one every three

hours. It said one in every four of these claims happened in Birmingham, which topped the list.

The figures include induced accidents, where fraudsters deliberately target innocent motorists to

claim whiplash compensation, as well as staged accidents, when two damaged cars are brought

together to make it look like an accident.

Aviva said induced accident numbers remain “worryingly” close to record levels seen in 2014, with

the number of cases falling by just 2 per cent in 2015.

But there has been a 40pc year-on-year fall in staged accidents which Aviva believes is because

measures have been put in place to make it harder for fraudsters to take out a policy with the

insurer in the first place.

Tom Gardiner, head of fraud at Aviva, said: “Induced accidents now account for nearly half of all

organised motor fraud we detect.

Tips for how to minimise the risk of becoming a crash for cash victim

– Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front.

– Fraudsters target roundabouts and slip roads to induce accidents. Be especially vigilant in these

areas, allowing plenty of space.

– There are frequently two cars involved in inducing an accident – the car directly in front and the car

in front of that car as well. Both may drive erratically.

– Check the brake lights. A common trait in many vehicles involved in crash for cash is the failure of

the vehicle’s brake lights.

– Is the car in front moving particularly slowly or is it slowing down and speeding up for no apparent

reason? If the driver in front is focusing on the back of the vehicle, that could be a sign they are

looking for an opportunity to induce an accident.

“Crash for cash does not just push up premiums for genuine customers, it puts innocent motorists at

risk. It is also a significant drain on scarce public resources such as ambulance, police and A&E time,

all of which are wasted on these entirely bogus claims.”