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The number of criminals specialising in 'crash for cash' scams involving vans is increasing, according to a recent report by the APU (Asset Protection Unit).

The report states that one third of 10,000 annual crash scams deliberately target vans.

The Asset Protection Unit, which is comprised of former forensic investigators and Police Officers, has shed some insight into why more van drivers are being targeted by these criminal gangs It has been reasoned that van drivers are more likely to be fully insured and, due to their busy work schedules, they may be less likely to dispute an insurance claim.

White Van with Dent

Neil Thomas, APU's Director of Investigative Services and a former Detective Inspector of West Midlands Police, stated, "This is yet another example of how criminal fraud gangs are becoming more sophisticated – they are thinking quite hard about exactly who they target on the roads and it’s based on solid logic."

'Crash for cash' schemes are reportedly costing the motoring industry around £130 million annually, with the average value of an incident costing £30,000.

The scam involves a member of the gang pulling out in front of a chosen target and hitting the brakes. This gives the innocent party very little time to stop the collision or react to the situation.

Peter Oakes, Head of Fraud at international commercial law firm Hill Dickinson, has announced that "over 17% of induced accidents are perpetrated by individuals who have previously committed fraud, and they are increasingly turning their attention to commercial vehicles. Data and analytics is the best weapon the industry has against the fraudsters".

The best way to combat these schemes is to ensure that the necessary van insurance is in place and van drivers should always follow the basic rules of the road to maintain concentration at all times.