Flash for cash scams – how to avoid being tricked
Flash for cash scams are common and dangerously easy to be fooled by. Even if you’re thinking ‘there’s no way I’d be tricked into this’, it’s much better to be safe than sorry, and to know exactly what to avoid.
This scam is a variation of the ‘crash for cash’ con that has been attacking motorists for years. It works by criminals flash their car headlights to let you out of a junction or petrol station, then deliberately drive into your car. Then they will make a claim on your insurance policy for the damage you apparently caused their vehicle, and for the ‘injury’ they have suffered.
The tricky thing about this scam is that according to the insurance companies its one driver’s word against another – and you have no way of proving what’s actually happened. Furthermore, according to the Highway Code, flashing lights are not a valid indicator to proceed, so even if the insurance claim assessor believes you, it doesn’t stand up as a defence.
Therefore, the sad truth is that although it may be a genuine act of kindness, never enter a road until you can be confident the way is clear. Proceed with caution – always. All flashing headlights prove is that their bulb is working.
If something like this does happen to you, our advice is to treat it the same as any other accident; pull over when it is safe, exchange details with the other driver, do not admit liability, and try to get the name and address of any other witnesses.
Furthermore, if you want to take extra precautions, you can fit a dashcam for the ideal witness. This might also deter the criminals, as they probably would like to avoid being caught on camera.