Beware of Staged Crashes
Car Accidents Are Always The Pits!
To be involved in a vehicular accident is one of the least desirable situations in anyone’s life ... It can be dangerous, upsetting, traumatic, and expensive. Try as we might to be careful drivers, some people do cause car accidents with the intent to make money by submitting bogus claims. These fraudulent accidents are becoming more and more common. Often these accidents are staged by organized crime rings that bilk dozens of unsuspecting drivers.
There are many types of accident scams that are typically carefully planned and practiced:
The T-Bone Accident
In this scenario, a scam artist will wait for your car to proceed through an intersection and then jam their gas pedal and T-bone your vehicle. When the police arrive, phony witnesses, also known as “shady helpers,” will then claim you were the one who ran the stop sign or traffic signal.
Dual Turn Sideswipe
Be careful if you're driving in the inner lane of a dual left-turn lane at a busy intersection. scammer may drive a bit into your lane and swipe your car or ram you if in reaction, you drift into the outer lane, and then blame you. Once again, “witnesses” working with the con artist will corroborate his story.
In this scam, the other driver will slow down and wave you forward. He then crashes into your car, but denies waving you on, placing you at fault. Scamming drivers may also wave you out of a parking space with the same come-on.
Swoop and Stop /Swoop and Squat /Break Slam
A suspect vehicle suddenly swoops in front of you and jams on the brakes, causing a rear-end collision. Often the suspect car has passengers who pretend to have painful back or neck injuries, even though the collision was at low speed. The driver and passengers then make large collision and injury claims against your auto policy.
Once you’ve been in an accident, you may need a tow. Be especially careful of tow trucks that appear before you have a chance to call for assistance in an attempt to scam you by offering a tow at very inflated rates.
On Site Settlement
The con artist will come up next to and flag you down to let you know that you had hit their car. They would absolutely refuse to go through insurance and demand settlement, avoid giving contact info and would not let you give yours. They would keep talkinging about further possible inconveniences both of you can avoid hence, would prefer to take care of everything right then and there.
A stranger may approach you at the crash site, or phone you right afterward. The stranger tries to badger you into getting medical treatment at a specific clinic, repairs at a specific body shop, or assistance from a specific lawyer. Be careful: It may be a setup for fraudulent medical treatment, car repairs and bogus insurance claims. You could be headed for trouble. Think hard before getting involved with strangers like these.
The Negative Consequences of Scams:
Expense. You may be stuck paying for damages you didn’t cause.
Inconvenience. Your life is disrupted as you deal with the seemingly endless details of car repairs, claim settlement, police reports, lawyers, possible lawsuits and other problems.
Higher auto insurance premiums. Everyone's auto premiums rise because insurance companies pass the costs of bogus claims on to honest policyholders.
Trauma. Getting in your car after being a victim of a staged car accident can be scary because you may feel that you cannot avoid an accident no matter how careful you are.
Injury and death. Scammers don’t necessarily intend to hurt or kill anyone, but staged car accidents can go terribly wrong.
How to Avoid Accident Scams:
Honest citizens like you can fight back, protect yourself and put crooks like these behind bars.
Drive carefully and be prepared. Keep a camera, pen, and paper in the car so that you can take photos and notes at the scene.
Some groups are at higher risk for being victims:
Luxury vehicles and new cars – They may have higher insurance limits.
Work vehicles and big rigs – Car insurance scams on these vehicles may be more lucrative.
Women and older adults – Con artists may find these drivers easier to intimidate.
Record as much as you can of the following:
Driver license number.
Vehicle registration information.
Car insurance information.
Name, address, and phone number.
The general height and weight (as well as the ethnicity) of the other car's driver and passengers.
Also, call the police if you suspect that you were in a staged accident.
Don’t ever settle on site with cash; always report the accident to your car insurance company, and let them know if you suspect a scam.
Count how many passengers were in the other car if you're in a collision. Get their names, phone numbers and driver's license. More people may file claims than were in the car. Also get the car's license number.
Note: Keep a pen and paper in your glove compartment so you're always ready.
Call the police to the scene. Get a police report with the officer's name, even for minor damage. If the police report notes just a small dent or scratch, it'll be harder for crooks to later claim serious injuries or car damage.
Tags: staged crashes, accidents, Insurance scams, car repair, murrieta car repair, brakes repair, ac diagnosis