Chinese woman caught on camera faking road accident in payout bid

A woman from southeast China who staged being knocked off her bicycle by a truck in an attempt to cheat the driver into paying her compensation might have gotten away with it had the scam not been caught on surveillance camera.

Footage of the incident, which happened on July 4 in Wuhu, Anhui province, shows the would-be victim, surnamed Tang, running alongside the truck while carrying a bicycle.

As the vehicle turns a corner, Tang throws the bike to the ground and as the truck stops, slides her body under its front bumper and lies up against a wheel - as if she has just been knocked down.

According to People's Daily, the official newspaper of China's Communist Party, which uploaded the film to social media, Tang staged the accident after having a business dispute with the driver and sought revenge.

The footage ends with Tang lying under the cab of the truck as a handful of bemused passers-by look on.

But according to the People's Daily report, she called the police from her prone position and claimed she had been the victim of a traffic accident.

When officers arrived at the scene Tang was "moaning in pain" and demanding compensation from the driver, identified only as Cui, they said.

However, her play-acting failed to impress and when the officers reviewed the footage from the surveillance camera it became clear she had faked the whole incident.

While it was unclear if Tang was punished for her actions - police said only that they were investigating - her amateur dramatics did not escape criticism online.

"This woman's performing skills are poor," one person wrote on Weibo, China's Twitter-like platform.

"If [she is] not punished, this [kind of scam] will happen over and over again," wrote another.

Beijing lawyer Han Xiao said it seemed clear from the footage that Tang had broken the law by trying to stage an accident and could face a fine or even detention.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.