The scam typically sees fraudsters slam on their brakes at junctions and roundabouts so the driver behind cannot stop in time.
They then make exaggerated or false claims for damage to their vehicle or personal injuries.
Over the past 12 months the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has found evidence that gangs using addresses in well-established Crash for Cash hotspots – such as Birmingham – are increasingly travelling out to unsuspecting areas to cause collisions with locals less familiar to the scam.
And Cirencester has been named third on a list of new areas, with Frome in Somerset and Worksop, Nottinghamshire, being the only new locations targeted more frequently in the last year.
Ben Fletcher, Director at the IFB, said: “Crash for Cash fraudsters are known to evolve their tactics and the latest evidence shows that they’ve started spreading out from prominent crime hotspots to less suspecting towns and cities in the hope that they can avoid detection.
“This change in tactic brings home the fact that no matter where people may live, everyone should be on their guard to these reckless car crash scams.”
In December 2020 Gloucestershire police were investigating incidents of the scam being carried out on the A419 near Cirencester.
There is also evidence to suggest the gangs are even targeting rural villages and drivers are being warned to look out for signs of Crash for Cash scams and report any evidence to the IFB.
If you have evidence of a ‘Crash for Cash’ scam, it should be reported to the IFB’s confidential Cheatline service at insurancefraudbureau.org/cheatline or 0800 422 0421.
It should also be reported to the police via Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk or 0300 123 2040.”
Note as much information as possible about the driver, passengers and circumstances of the collision. This can include written info, pictures, dashcam footage and noting CCTV in the area.