February 20, 2014

Already hard hit, by Britain’s unusual wetness in recent months (see last week’s Bankstone News for details) motor repair body shops are braced for more bad news, as it emerged this week that plans are afoot to crack down on the so-called staged accidents that currently provide around a third of their business.

An authoritative new estimate published this week reveals that an average 60,000 RTAs were caused deliberately in each of the past five years, equating to more than 1,000 a day. Slam-on scam might sound like something written by Chinn and Chapman for The Sweet, but, in fact, it isn’t.

Along with crash for cash (C4C), flash for cash (F4C), artificial sudden stop (ASS) and full-car krunch (F-CK), Slam-on scams (SOS) and other fake accidents account for an increasingly large proportion of motor repair jobs as well as giving rise to painful and traumatic neck-injuries by the car/MPV/minibusload.

According to insurer L=V< (source of the above scary estimate), as many as 30,000 people have been a victim of an SOS in the past year, while a survey carried out for the insurer also revealed that one in three drivers was involved in an F4C scam in 2013. That might not sound like a particularly large sample, but it’s something to think about next time someone flashes you.

Sickeningly, it seems slammers and flashers are deliberately targeting young women because, according to an inflammatory sexist generalisation from L/V=, they are less likely to make a fuss in a ‘your word against mine’ situation. “Almost two thirds (65%) of victims were female,” the insurer reports, “and 59% were aged 34 or younger.”

News that L(V)’s claims crime prevention team (CCPT) plans to stamp out staged accidents and “make sure fraudsters are brought to justice” will be – like the increasingly restricted availability of automotive girly calendars – welcome news for women everywhere, perhaps less so for motor mechanics.

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