April 25, 2016

For years now, crash for cash fraudsters’ ability to stage fake accidents seemingly at will has had the experts baffled. But now yellow insurer Uvavu has published a handy list of top tips that sets out plainly in plain black and white English exactly how to spot a C4C scam.

In case you didn’t already know (where have you been), Uvavu explain thatC4C is when “fraudsters deliberately target innocent motorists to cause accidents in order to claim whiplash compensation.”

What they normally do is brake suddenly for no apparent reason, causing whoever is behind them to bump into them from behind. The trick is to do it fast enough to cause a bump, but not so fast you end up getting real whiplash (or at least some other kind of jarred neck thing, because, obviously, there’s no such thing as whiplash).

This may all sound like a bit of harmless pranksterism, but actually C4C is really bad because it costs insurers like Uvavu and their long-suffering shareholders shedloads of money, which they are then reluctantly obliged to claim back from innocent responsible motorists (whenever they can find some).

So, how can you spot a C4C from a honest ordinary rear end shunt? What, as they say, are the telltale signs?

  1. Blowing hot and cold: look out for cars stopping and starting, going fast and then slow, overtaking then dropping their speed. These are always good indicators for pensioners, fraudsters, or both.
  2. Two’s company: it’s a well established fact that C4C criminals often flock in pairs, sometimes they’re simply planning to crash into one another, but sometimes they’ll have you in their sights!
  3. Acting funny: Imagine you’ve just run into someone from behind (probably not a big stretch for someone who drives like you do). Are they being a bit weird? If your victims start rubbing the backs of their heads and going “Ooh, ooh, my neck it is really hurting,” or whatever, call the police at once.
  4. Imaginary obstacle: Another sure sign is when you say ‘Never mind your s*dding neck, WTF were you doing slamming on your brakes for no reason all of a suddenly?” and they turn round (with a theatrical wince, evincing extreme neck pain) and go: ‘But didn’t you see that motorbicylist/ kiddy/ donkey/ roadsweeper or whatever?’ Since they are obviously making it up, they could say almost anything really, but motorcycles are always a good bet because everyone already knows and accepts that they are usually invisible.
  5. Paperwork handy: another clear indicator is when your victims have all the necessary documents readily to hand – or if they appear to be consulting some kind of “crib sheet” of what to do upon being struck from the rear. This could be a scruffy piece of paper or even bulleted action points written on the back of their hand.
  6. Broken brake lights: C4C fraudsters often break, deactivate or otherwise disable their brake lights so you won’t notice when they stop suddenly in your path. Again, if you see someone braking and you don’t see lights, call the cops or, if you’re feeling all Bruce Willis, execute an immediate citizens’ arrest.
  7. Go with your gut: Uvavu didn’t actually say that bit about calling the cops or tackling suspected C4Cers yourself (that was us helping out), but they did say: “Trust your instincts – does something seem wrong?” By which, they probably meant that if you don’t like the look of someone – if they look a bit shifty, or shady, or like they’re not from around here, alarm bells should be ringing!

So there you have it: armed with that brief crib sheet (keep it handy in your glovebox or maybe get it tattooed on your forearm) you should be ‘well positioned’ to sniff out even the faintest whiff of C4C-age.

What should you do if your suspicions are aroused? Make mental notes of their age, appearance, ethnic origin etc (that’s mental as in ‘in your mind’ not, like, insane, deranged, or whatever, btw) or, better still, make actual notes on a piece of paper. Or, even better still even than that, take photos of them – and definitely take photos of the cars, the road, any damage, passers by who could act as witnesses (why not take their names as well), donkeys, roadsweepers etc. (or the absence thereof).

Also, now you can call the cops (Uvavu said so), and call Uvavu, and retain “any documentation provided by the third party.” If they don’t want to let you have it, tell them you’ve called the cops and see how they like that. Then take more photos, just in case.

Follow these simple steps, and C4C could soon be a thing of the past, like Smallpox, Polio and Common Human Decency.

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After the problems I had with my previous insurer when I was knocked off my bike, it was very refreshing to talk to someone who didn't automatically assume that I was at fault simply because I ride a motorbike. I received a call back very quickly from someone who knew what I was talking about and dealt with my call in a friendly yet very professional manner. Thank you.
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