Motorists are being warned of a new ‘clip for cash’ scam where scammers are accusing innocent drivers of clipping their wind mirror before demanding cash up front.
In order to tackle the problem, the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) and City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) have launched a national campaign to help motorists identify the warning signs of the scam and report it.
More than 40 incidents are being investigated by the IFB and IFED where innocent people appear to have been targeted. However, they are concerned that hundreds of cases could be going unreported due to the fact that people do not recognise the scam tactics.
Director at IFB, Ursula Jallow, said: “Clip for cash is an increasing threat to drivers.
“These fraudsters trick innocent motorists into thinking they’ve caused genuine damage and then apply pressure tactics to get victims to hand over cash. As there is little awareness of this new fraud type, it means drivers are more susceptible to falling victim.”
What is a clip for cash scam?
According to the IFED, residential roads are where the the clip for cash almost always takes place. As the victim drives by, the fraudster is parked in their car on the left-hand side and throws an object, such as a large rock, at the side of the victim’s car to make an impact sound.
The fraudster’s car then flashes the startled driver to get them to stop, then accuses the driver of clipping their wing mirror, which has already been damaged.
The victim is usually asked to hand over cash instantly from the fraudster, which could be as much as £200. Drivers may also be pressured into visiting a cashpoint by the fraudster.
Clip for cash scam: the warning signs
Someone asking for money at the scene is a warning sign of a clip for cash scam.
Police have warned drivers to never hand money over at the scene, even if a genuine collision has taken place.
Insurance details should be swapped if someone is accused of damaging a wing mirror, as is legally required.
The police also state that if there is an imminent risk of danger, then the driver should phone the police and money should never be handed over even if the damage claim is from a genuine collision.