A High Wycombe postcode has been named a ‘crash for cash’ hotspot.

New research from the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has uncovered the UK’s top 30 worst-affected postal districts for the scams in which fraudsters invent or deliberately cause crashes, often involving innocent people, to try and get compensation.

Birmingham came out on top for the dangerous scam, with the HP12 postcode in High Wycombe also on the list.

Of 2.7 million motor insurance claims made across the UK between the start of October 2019 and the end of 2020, the IFB identified more than 170,000 claims which could be linked to suspected crash for cash networks.

The investigation found single gangs can be behind thousands of orchestrated collisions in some areas, with the combined value of their fraudulent claims running into the millions.

The IFB said it hoped that by pinpointing crash for cash hotspots, people would be encouraged to be vigilant as more drivers start to take to the roads.

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Ben Fletcher, director at the IFB, said: “Crash for cash fraudsters bring devastation to countless victims and increase motor insurance costs for us all.

“The IFB’s hotspots analysis is a stark reminder that although great strides have been taken in tackling the problem, these car crash scams are all too common.

“As traffic levels return to normal following the national lockdown, ‘crash for cash’ fraudsters may look to make up for lost time.

Bucks Free Press: The top 30 UK postcode where 'cash for crash' scams are rife. Credit: Insurance Fraud BureauThe top 30 UK postcode where 'cash for crash' scams are rife. Credit: Insurance Fraud Bureau

“It is hoped that by shining a spotlight on the issue we will encourage road users to be alert and report any suspicious activity to the IFB’s Cheatline on 0800 422 0421.”

Detective Chief Inspector Edelle Michaels, Head of the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED), said: “We have seen time and time again that crash for cash fraudsters do not care about the safety of their victims, with a trio even targeting a pregnant woman in 2019.”

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Here are some tips from the IFB on how to avoid cash for crash scams:

Keep a good distance

  • Always keep a good distance from the vehicle in front. According to the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) the time required to safely stop is:
  • 2 seconds in dry conditions
  • 4 seconds in wet conditions
  • 20 seconds in icy or snowy conditions

Stay alert

  • Drive safe and stick to the highway code
  • Look ahead to spot any potential hazards including unusual driving behaviour
  • Focus on vehicles and not just their lights, as fraudsters often disable brake lights
  • Be cautious when pulling out of a side road, especially if encouraged by another driver
  • If other drivers or their passengers are behaving suspiciously, or the condition of their vehicle is poor (such as rear dents), stay calm and keep back

Know the signs of a ‘crash for cash’

  • The driver or their passengers appear to be unphased after the collision
  • The driver or their passengers appear to exaggerate injuries
  • Pre-written insurance information is handed over