IMPORTANT - The Original Action Fraud Website Has Now Moved To: www.actionfraud.police.uk. Please visit that site for reporting any fraudulent activities.
Fraud Invades the Internet
We’re taught at a young age to be mindful of who we interact with. While the world is full of good people, there are some who aim to capitalize on the naivete’ of others. Criminals pose as friends or salesmen, they gain your trust, and then they take steps to profit from your misfortune. These kinds of actions used to be limited to phone calls or door-to-door schemes. Now they take place online. Online fraud makes up a majority of the fraud you’ll see today. Criminals frequently cruise social networking sites to find favourable fraud victims. Residents of the U.K. should be vigilant as fraudulent schemes continue to materialize.
Remember that if something seems to good to be true, then it probably is. It is easy for people to mask their true identity online, and you have to take steps to protect your identity from those people. People who commit fraud are selfish people. Their goal is to obtain money at the expense of others. A computer gives a criminal a mask to hide behind. Sometimes networks of criminals conduct phishing schoemes in order to gain access to personal information. Once someone has your personal information, such as; social security number, full name, birthdate, family information or bank information, they can use it to open new accounts.
Always pay close attention to who you’re talking to, whether they are online or in person. The more aware you are of your surroundings, the better off you will be in the long-run.
The Insurance Fraud Bureau issued a report recently stating that Crash for Cash scams cost the UK approximately £340m every year. The increasing incidence of Crash for Cash scams is alarming for motorists around the UK. If you are the unfortunate victim of one these scams, even if your insurance company covers the payout, you still end up paying for it because you pay an increased premium when you renew your insurance.
So What Exactly Is A Car Accident Crash For Cash Scam?
Most people in the UK are aware that they are entitled to claim compensation if they are injured in a car accident or vehicle accident that is due to somebody else’s mistake or negligence. While this is great news for innocent road accident victims, there are a few people who try and game the system to make some quick, easy cash. A Crash for Cash scam is one in which a criminal orchestrates an accident with the specific intention of making a fraudulent insurance claim. If you have been the victim of a car accident claim scam and as a result you are injured you are entitled to claim personal injury to find out how much compensation you can claim for your car acident claim. Alot of these crash for cash scams are dangerous and can cause injuries to the innocent victims involved.
There are several different ways that they do this. Some of the more common scenarios include:
In an induced scenario, the driver slams the brakes suddenly for no apparent reason, causing the car behind to crash into them with full force. They then insist that it was the fault of the driver in the car behind them and immediately provide the victim with the details of their insurance company.
In another induced scenario, the driver flashes their indicator light at a junction to tell the car behind that they are letting them go and then deliberately crashes into the car.
In a staged car accident claim, two accomplices crash their cars into one another or the fraudster damages their car with a sledgehammer in such a way that it looks like it was damaged in an accident.
Some people submit false claims for accidents that did not even happen.
Fraudsters who are planning a Crash for Cash scam do not just pick out their victims at random. They look for drivers who are more likely to have full insurance but less likely to take a stand or fight back when accused of causing the car accident. Elderly men and women and mothers with children are at highest risk of becoming victims to this scam.
How A Crash For Cash Scam Affects You
If you happen to be a victim of a Crash for Cash scam, the driver will insist that the accident was your fault and within a couple of weeks you can expect to hear from your insurance company with details of the other driver’s claims. More often than not, the claim will be highly exaggerated with inflated expenses for injuries, usually severe spinal injuries or whiplash as well as car repair and car hire expenses.
Yes, you will feel a sense of relief in knowing that your insurance company will fight or settle the claim on your behalf, but ultimately you will pay the price. After any accident, you forfeit your ‘no claim’ bonus, which means you end up paying a higher premium when you renew your insurance.
Know The Signs
Given the increasing rate of Crash for Cash scams in the UK, it does pay to know the potential signs and be vigilant while driving. Watch for these signs:
The driver in the car ahead of you is unpredictable and driving erratically. The driver may be driving unusually slowly or speeds up and slows down for no apparent reason.
The brake lights of the car ahead of you are not working. Fraudsters planning on pulling one of these scams often disable their brake lights so it catches you off-guard when they brake suddenly and a crash is inevitable.
The driver or the passengers in the car ahead of you seem to be paying more attention to your vehicle rather than the road ahead of them.
The car ahead of you indicates that they are allowing you to pull out but you see no clear indication that they are actually turning. Use your judgment and slow down a bit to be sure that the car is actually turning before you overtake.
What To Do If You Are Victim Of A Cash For Crash Scam
Despite taking all precautions, you could still end up as a victim. Here are a few things you should and should not do if you suspect that you are a victim of a scam:
Insist on calling the police to sort things out. In most cases the offending driver will prefer to let you go and will back off.
Never admit liability for anything, no matter what the other driver says.
Do not challenge the driver directly, as this could put you in an even more dangerous situation, especially if the area is fairly deserted.
Make a record of what happened. Write down notes in your note book. Get photographs of the scene. Do this carefully, especially if you are using your phone as you do not want to get that snatched away, leaving you even more vulnerable.
Obtain the contact information of independent witnesses. Be very careful who to approach though as very often fraudsters operate in gangs and will have some of their own members around to pose as witnesses.
As soon as you manage to get away from the scene, inform your insurance company about the incident. Make sure you tell them about your suspicions.
Report the incident to the Insurance Fraud Bureau.
It is always a good idea to get free legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer after you have been in any road accident, especially if you suspect that you have been the victim of a Crash for Cash scam. If you were injured in the accident, a personal injury lawyer will help you file a claim for compensation. If you were not injured, a personal injury lawyer will give you expert legal advice about your rights and your next course of action.
As an added level of security and to have a solid eye-witness to support their innocence many drivers in the UK are choosing to install dashboard video cameras that capture everything in the event of any accident,
Insurance fraud of any kind has by some people been identified as victimless crime as there is no victim, as such suffering the consequences, however this is untrue especially when fraud is combined together with the health and medical industry. Insurance fraud has took on a whole new perspective as in the past it was based around insurance companies being scammed whereas now people are actually being punished through such fraudulent schemes, not only are people’s insurance premiums dramatically increasing due to the fact of the amount of insurance claims being put through but innocent drivers are being put in the firing line as they are being blamed for accidents which was the others sides fault or people are setting up accidents so other people are at blame. Not only is this increasing disturbing and frightening but also very dangerous for car users.
Fraud within the medical negligence claims area is rare but not as much as it was in the past however there still is not a lot of room for victims of medical negligence to create fraudulent claims nor is it clear whether patients can claim fraudulent medical negligence as much of the work done in medicine is highly documented and recorded for the sake of the patient as much as to keep efficient hospital records. It is entirely possible for victims of medical negligence to slightly exaggerate the consequences of the negligence but most that are involved in medical negligence suffer greatly anyway. It is possible for victims to state greater pain amounts or psychological injuries that never took place and are difficult to verify. If you believe that you have been a victim of medical negligence and you have a valid claim then you may be able to make a medical negligence compensation claim. The medical negligence process must not be taken lightly especially if the negligence suffered is quite severe and it is vital to always be prepared. Medical negligence is the omission or act of a health care worker that a service that has been provided is below the standard expected and as a result such a service has caused a victim to experience further ill health as a direct consequence.
In America fraud and the health care industry is not so rare as medical insurance is acquired for people to receive medical treatment, if people do not have the funds to have medical insurance then it is up to the Government to provide sufficient health care treatment and this leaves room for the health care provider to make fraudulent health care claims.
Health Care Industry and Fraudulent Activity
The National Audit Office has produced figures which show that patient fraud was costs the NHS around 112 million yearly and the figures are only estimated and it has been stated that another 81 million of the NHS funding was said to be at risk of such fraud. The estimated patient fraud is guaranteed to rise as it has not been taken into consideration the amount of fraud committed by contractors and NHS Trusts. The NHS Counter Fraud Service has estimated these figures after an investigation took place in to actions of fraud within the NHS.
Fraud and embezzlement within the NHS pose risks and consequences to patients. The Health Care and Social Act of 2012 was set to implement changes to how the NHS worked but did not adequately address the area of fraud correctly as it is vital so that fraudulent activity is to be policed correctly and new structures to combat such fraud to be implemented which critics have said has not happened. It has also been brought to attention that resources to address fraud functions have been decreased allowing such fraud within the NHS to take place. In turn this may have a huge effect on patient care and treatment as massive some of monies may be lost through fraudulent activity.
It has been made clear that through new government policies connected to the NHS that due to the suggestions and even increase of private medical firms to deliver NHS services there is very likely to be an increase in fraudulent activity. As more health services are being contracted out the government has been advised that fraudulent activity is likely to increase. The ‘principal-agent’ theory clearly states that any person or organisation contracted out is more than likely self-interested and only aimed to concentrate on their own business needs and gaining maximum profit.
Types of Medical Negligence and Fraud
Fraud can take place within the health industry within a number of ways these may include;
A health care worker stating that they have the correct qualifications and training for the job when in reality then are not trained to the standard they state.
A doctor from a foreign country may show the correct qualifications on paper but they may have been forged in some way so extra care and attention must be taken when reviewing paper work.
Fraud may take place within the cosmetic industry in as much as cosmetic providers stating they are medically trained to carry out work such as Botox and filler injections but in reality do not have any medical training.
Beauty salon and beauty spa may pose qualified personal but the staff do not have the training to accompany it.
More insight to medical negligence can be found at .gov and you can gain government insight in to medical negligence and the processes involved.