Police have busted a network of ‘high-tech’ fraudsters who target drivers on motorways and doctor their own dash cam footage before claiming windscreen damage from unsuspecting motorists.
The highly skilled suspects were allegedly able to take a dashcam video and, using video-editing software, add a realistic graphic showing a stone hitting their windscreen, which they would then play back to the unsuspecting victim just seconds later.
Video Credit: AsiaWire
Authorities in Foshan’s Gaoming District in South China’s Guangdong Province announced the arrest of 10 culprits on the back of a four-month investigation, leading to a sting operation on 18th April.
The group admitted to carrying out eight scams on the Guangzhou-Gaoming Expressway, with the suspects driving BMW or Mercedes-Benz models in order to swindle victims out of more money for repairs.
The crimes first came to light when a driver surnamed Wang suspected he had been scammed at the end of December last year.
He claimed to have been driving on the motorway when he heard a soft clink, after which three men in a BMW flagged him down and claimed he had run over a stone which flew into their windscreen.
Wang said he saw the cracked windscreen but did not believe he had caused it – until they produced the dashcam video seemingly proving his guilt.
The doctored dashcam footage shows the suspects trailing Wang’s car when a black stone appears to fly out from under his SUV and strike the windscreen.
Wang said he wanted his insurance company to handle the dispute, but, after verbal threats, agreed to pay the BMW trio 6,000 RMB (676 GBP).
Gaoming District authorities said a number of similar incidents were reported, raising their suspicions and leading to the bust.
They seized four cars, fake number plates, bank cards and catapults, which the suspects used to shoot olive pips at targeted vehicles in order to create the illusion of the victims having driven over a stone.