Warning as people report 'crash for cash' gang staging car accidents in Frome

People in and around Frome have said they believe they are victims of a gang targeting drivers in the area in so-called ‘crash for cash’ scams.

The schemes are where road collisions are created, often by sudden braking, in order to claim for insurance payouts.

Multiple people have come forward to ITV News West Country to say it has happened to them in the area, with some examples dating back over six months.

The drivers say the individuals wait at roundabouts then look as if they are going to move off before braking so the driver behind goes into the back of them.

Many of the incidents have been reported at roundabouts in and around Frome, including this one near Beckington Credit: ITV News West Country

When they contact the insurance company, the damage claimed for is far greater than the incident warranted in many cases.

Jane Wilkins, from Trowbridge, had a collision at a roundabout near Frome in early April. Her car was written off in the incident.

She says she believes the car she collided with had its brake lights disabled: "There were no lights at all. No brake lights, nothing.

"He was just driving along like he's going to go on the roundabout and then he just stopped. So I had no warning whatsoever that he was going to stop.

"It's actually left me really nervous to drive. He could actually kill somebody. It might not be high speed - but what if someone has a weak heart or children in the car?"

One woman, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals, said: "I thought the car in front was gone and then I heard a bang. I'm sure I had already stopped.

Drivers around Frome have been warned to be cautious, particularly at junctions and roundabouts Credit: ITV News West Country

"I said to my insurance it (the photograph of the other car) looks like it's been hit by a train - you can see there's no damage to my car. That's why I knew it was a false claim.

"When I saw the post on Facebook from other people that had been caught out like this in a way I felt that's great because it's not I'm not the only one. I just so I don't want him getting away with it."

She says the incident has left her feeling nervous when driving.

"After that it just made me very cautious and always on the lookout for the same car," she told ITV News.

Avon and Somerset Police has asked anyone who witnesses or experiences this sort of incident to report it via either 101/999 or through its website. The Insurance Fraud Bureau also says it is investigating.