The "broken wing mirror scam"


Distinguished Member
Just got this OWL email ...
(although pertaining to my Neighbourhood Watch area in the London Borough of Hillingdon, could be going on anywhere really)
Alleged wing mirror damage - further advice

Further to the recent OWL message regarding the broken wing mirror scam, this yielded a very significant response from residents, showing that this scam has been going on for a long period of time.

If you experience this scam the Police ask this to be reported directly to Action Fraud please.

The responses elicited a number of key features:

The cost of the alleged damage is nearly always £450

Residents report hearing a "bang" (caused by a water bottle or some other missile being thrown at the front nearside of your vehicle) shortly before being pulled over by the perpetrator (by flashing their lights, blaring their horn etc) who often allege they will report you to the Police for "failing to stop" after an accident.

Pressure is then put on you to pay this immediately, to the extent that some have even been pressured to drive to an ATM, followed by the perpetrator(s).

Appropriate response:

If the person alleging the damage becomes threatening, ring 999. We have received multiple reports that threatening behaviour is definitely happening as part of this scam.

If you are able, get the full details of the person making the allegation - Name address, phone number, vehicle make and registration and insurance company details.

If possible take a photo of the alleged damaged wing mirror, and of the perpetrator if possible, without putting yourself at risk.

DO NOT under any circumstances be pressured into paying up there and then.

Notify your own insurer of the allegation making it clear that there has been no collision, that there is no damage to your own vehicle and that you suspect it’s a fraudulent claim.

The above will give you time to take stock of what has happened.

I then checked out the earlier OWL message of 29th September ...
Alleged wing mirror damage - bogus claims on our Borough

Two incidents have been drawn to our attention of a claim for damages being made against the driver of a vehicle, whereby a third party has falsely alleged that a wing mirror has been damaged, and a claim then made against the innocent party.

The most recent incidents were in the Eastcote area, but this type of scam could occur anywhere across our Borough, and this message is being circulated Borough-wide to raise awareness.

One way in which this scam can unfold is that you pass a parked vehicle and hear a loud bang against your own vehicle, which is in fact caused by someone striking it with an object as you pass them. They then follow you and flash their lights, and you stop and engage with them.

An advanced version of this scam has the driver of the other vehicle moving to the passenger side of your vehicle and pushing your mirror in towards the passenger door, usually as you are getting out.

In all variants they will show you their own broken driver’s side mirror, to convince you that you are at fault.

Advice to follow in this situation:

You will nearly always know whether your mirror has definitely struck someone else’s, but a key method of proving what actually happened is to use a dashcam which will show the scammer’s vehicle with a broken offside mirror before you actually pass it.

Remember to make sure that your dashcam is working and has a full view of the road straight ahead, to capture parked vehicles.

These matters need to be reported to the Police please – this can be done online, and you should do this as soon as possible after the event to protect your own position by creating a written record of the event, date and time to refer back to.

It’s important to get the make, model and colour of the other vehicle involved, and the registration number, together with a full description of the person making the false claim.

Please also inform us at Hillingdon Neighbourhood Watch


Distinguished Member
"If you are able, get the full details of the person making the allegation - Name address, phone number, vehicle make and registration and insurance company details."

:laugh: yes, i'm sure that'll be successful.

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