Crash for Cash is a specific type of auto insurance fraud that costs consumers billions every year.

In a crash for cash scheme fraudsters plan and execute a car crash that appears to be the fault of an innocent driver. This scheme can be as simple as slamming the brakes on in front of another driver to very advanced scenarios that involve entire fraud rings. After carefully planning, or staging an accident, fraudsters will claim personal injuries like whiplash for themselves and passengers. Fraudsters may also claim additional damages like the cost of having a car towed from the scene of the crash when it was actually driven away. They may also claim other physical damage to the car in order to increase their claim amount.

These false claims cost insurers billions annually and those costs get passed on to consumers. When insurance companies can fight back and stop fraud rings it’s a win for everyone except the bad guys. iovation’s strong device recognition coupled with link analysis that uncovers related devices and accounts, give insurers a powerful way to root out fraud. In the U.K. an auto insurer used these device-based tools to identity and stop a fraud ring—ultimately saving £2.3 million. Here's how it happened.

  1. A claim on an auto policy went bad with four men making whiplash claims in a “crash for cash” scheme.
  2. The insurer used iovation's risk service to identify the device used to buy the original auto policy.
  3. They then used iovation to identify additional transactions by this device in which more policies were purchased.
  4. The insurer used identity records to determine the payment cards used for these purchases, and the other policies purchased with those same cards.
  5. This method linked together 5 devices (laptops, a desktop and a mobile phone) with literally hundreds of policies.
  6. The IP addresses were identified by iovation and used to determine which ones could be linked to physical addresses (via Internet Service Providers that could track that data). Seven of the nine IP addresses were uniquely identified by iovation.
  7. By combining device-based intelligence with identity data and insurance records, the insurer narrowed the search to one specific home address. Everything linked to this one unique address.
  8. This investigative work was given to the City of London Police who proceeded to facilitate a fraud ring bust.


crash for cash

“Our mission is make the Internet a safer place to do business,” said Max Anhoury, vice president of global partnerships, “When we can help companies bust fraud rings and protect their business from future losses, it’s a great day.”

Additional Resources

How Device-Based Intelligence Can Expose Insurance Fraud: A conversation with Max Anhoury, vice president of Global Partnerships, iovation and John Cantwell, vice president, Auto Product Management, Verisk Insurance Solutions