The Money Shot – insurance scams and fizzy pop

Flash for cash - not very nice
"Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there" The Highway Code
  • | by Kristian Dando

‘Flash for Cash’ is lurking somewhere in the Money Shot’s folder of ideas for money-spinning business start-ups, alongside the self-explanatory ‘Bumsnet’ and ‘SE-WOAH!’ , a thrill-packed water park with a search engine optimisation theme.

Our idea was for an agency specialising in entertaining hen parties and such like, and we’re pretty sure it would have gone down a storm – had criminal gangs not got in there first.

However, the crooks’ interpretation of ‘flash for cash’ isn’t quite as saucy ours, and doesn’t involve nearly as much thrusting and gyrating, nor the music of Tom Jones.

It is, in fact, another one of those scams, which put the cost of everyone’s car insurance up – and, even worse, put lives at risk.

Here’s what happens – the criminals flash their car lights to let other unsuspecting drivers out at a junction, and then proceed to crash into them. Cue insurance claims for whiplash, loss of earnings, fake vehicle storage, recovery, repairs and replacement car hire – the list goes on.

It’s pretty easy to get away with, too. When cases go to court the old “their word against mine” line is trotted out and the perpetrators get off scot free, saying that they never flashed them out in the first place, honest guvnor. Not very nice – particularly as it’s often elderly motorists and people with kids in the back who are targeted.

It also turns out that flashing your lights to let someone out isn’t recognised as a ‘thing’ in the Highway Code, even though it’s generally a sign of rare courtesy on Britain’s depressingly prissy roads.

“Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users. Never assume that flashing headlights is a signal inviting you to proceed. Use your own judgement and proceed carefully," booms the Highway Code tome, with great authority.

Funnily enough, the Money Shot has also seen flashing light signals deployed in remote car parks when it’s taking its constitutional evening strolls. Any ideas what this might signify? Answers on a digital postcard.

Short change - money news in brief

Audi drivers everywhere lamented new measures to curb tailgating and middle-lane hogs coming into force.

The AA has called on supermarkets to extend their price-match campaigns to petrol.

There’s talk afoot of Npower raising energy prices.

Mark Carney’s interest-rate announcement has caused the pound to rise against the euro and dollar (And that’s not the only thing that’s rising! Etc)

On Covered mag this week

Rachel England pondered what the jobs market holds for students heading to university this autumn.

The Premier League football season starts this weekend, so Graham Thomas took a timely look at what Financial Fair Play will mean for big-spending superclubs.

Here’s a bumper selection of ‘number one’ trivia on driving songs, holidays and the home. You’re welcome.

And finally

In a heartening tale of the little guy getting one over on a corporate monster, a small Norfolk brewer has taken on the might of Austrian purveyor of energy drinks Red Bull… and won.

The Redwell brewery, which takes its name from a street in Norwich, received a call from the company’s lawyers asking them to change their name and branding. Red Bull’s suits claimed that consumers could get confused into buying Redwell’s range of artisan lagers and ales, as they’d mistake it for their own unique sick-flavoured fizzy syrup.

After a public outcry, Red Bull backed down… on the condition that Redwell don’t make any moves into the energy drink game nor, presumably, Formula One or space skydiving. Hurrah!

Join us NEXT WEEK for another THRILLING instalment of THE MONEY SHOT.