Organised Crash-For-Cash? The Clues Are in The Data

After road users were warned about a new type of crash-for-cash scam, a records management expert has told insurance companies the secret to spotting fraud could lie in their records inventory. Crash-for-cash motor claims have been around a long time, but the latest iteration involves mopeds and not cars. The scam, reported by Insurance Edge last week, which is growing fast in London sees moped couriers targeting drivers in the capital’s most affluent areas – by deliberately driving at oncoming traffic.

An investigation by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB and the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED)  has found an astonishing 2,250 people already been victims of the scam in just two years. The big question is how can insurance companies spot fraudulent claims and foil the fraudsters?

Steve Holmes, at Restore Records Management which includes many insurance firms on its client list, says the secret could lie in an unexpected place: the thousands of boxes of paper records currently held in storage.

He said: “False claims are extremely costly for policy providers, so spotting fraudulent claims early is crucial. What insurance firms don’t always realise is that technology exists to fully search their physical records for clues. Through our sister brand, Restore Digital, we can use optical character recognition (OCR) to lift data from the insurance records in our care and digitise them, turning them into searchable PDFs.”

This process allows records management experts to look for similarities between claims, which might highlight anomalies and spot repeat fraudsters.

Sarah Sweet, Marketing Director, at Restore Digital, adds: “It’s possible to use machine learning and AI technology to find commonality between documents. We have been using this method to successfully identify potential fraud in the insurance sector.”

There’s no doubt that crash-for-cash scams are on the up.


Restore Records Management describes one case study, when an insurance company was receiving a high number of motor claims and wanted help to search for potential fraud. Data mining was used to understand if there was any link between the cases, finding 30 claims from the same person in different guises. The insurer was then able to take the case to court.

“That was a big result for the client because it saved money and prevented fraud,” said Steve Holmes.

“The service is a hidden benefit of outsourcing physical data storage to the right provider – and one that many firms are unaware of. Why put physical records in a box and forget about them when there’s an opportunity to unlock valuable data?”

For more information about Restore Records Management, please visit:

About alastair walker 12555 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.