Scams relating to “Crash for Cash” have been around for several years. There is an alarming new kid on the block when it comes to road-related scams, and it involves moped riders. In the last year alone, the number of scams instigated by these riders has doubled.

Some regions are more affected than others, but moped scams appear to be on the rise across the whole of the UK. In London there have been over 2200 victims in the past two years, this fraud has reached epidemic levels and the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) is calling for a campaign to raise awareness among drivers.

We have all seen the increased moped use since the pandemic, thousands appeared ready to deliver takeaways when we were stuck at home. The population continues to enjoy deliveries of every kind and mopeds are a very efficient way of getting things somewhere fast. They can weave in and out of traffic and seem to appear out of nowhere, many drivers are infuriated that many riders have scant regard for the rules of the road.

The rise of the moped has made scamming easier than ever. Moving through busy traffic and approaching unsuspecting drivers, prepared to put themselves and other road users in danger, there is no stopping these criminals.

UK DPF have researched how the criminals work and want to help raise awareness of this dangerous scam. Here is what you need to know.

How do they do it?

The scammers will go to any lengths just to get their money. They will swerve into a vehicle’s path, tailgate or weave and brake suddenly to create chaos where you have no option but to clip or hit them. Many even operate in groups to make a traffic situation more confusing so you don’t know where to look.

How do you know it’s a scam?

There are a few alarm bells that should go off if you are paying attention to the road. Is the moped rider really moving past or is he hovering more than necessary? Keep an eye out for other riders and if they are ahead watch how they move and if they seem to stay together.

If you do have an accident with one, be wary if they happen to have all the relevant paperwork quickly to hand. Be suspicious if the rider seems intent on apportioning blame on you rather than be in shock because they have been involved in a collision.

If you think it’s a scam, what should you do?

If you have been involved in a collision with a moped and you think it appears to be a set-up, firstly stay calm. Call the police, explain your concerns, and if there are any witnesses take details or ask them to stay with you. Whilst waiting for the police take photos of any damage to the moped and your vehicle.

How can you avoid becoming a victim?

It’s difficult to protect yourself from a scam of this nature entirely, the moped riders are very skilled in their trade and can be on you before you have even spotted them.

There are a few things you can do that may help you become less of a target:

  • Get a dashcam, photographic evidence can be very useful.
  • Be road-aware – don’t be distracted by a phone call or music.
  • Keep your distance from other vehicles, space creates less opportunity for the moped.
  • Drive calm, and don’t let road rage rear its ugly head, that can work in favour of the scammer.
  • Consider taking an advanced driving course, it can sharpen up your response to a situation.

“Crash for cash” is making millions for organised crime gangs. Raising awareness of this scam will go some way to helping catch the criminals involved in this dangerous con.