Motorists are at risk from a new insurance fraud dubbed flash for cash, investigators have warned.
Fraud investigation specialist APU said the scam worked by criminals waiting for cars at junctions or petrol stations and flashing their lights to appear to give way to them when entering main roads.
As the innocent cars move forward, the criminals then drive into it causing an accident where blame is unclear after which they make an insurance claim.
'It is yet another example of how criminal gangs are becoming more sophisticated and attempting to stay one step ahead of suspicion,' says Neil Thomas, APU's director of investigative services.
'The adoption of flashing headlights and beckoning the driver results in a "your word against mine" situation when it comes to apportioning blame.
'By appearing to offer the right of way, the criminal simply continues his journey into a collision, holding the victim at fault for turning across him which, of course, cannot be denied under law.'
Thomas said motorists should be vigilant for any suspicious activity on the road, and should maintain their concentration on the basic rules of safe driving.
APU said some 380 false insurance claims are made daily, costing the motor industry £1.7m a year and pushing up insurance premiums.