When the holidays come, crooks get out of the woodwork. They love to take advantage of the goodwill, confidence, and mental distraction that is prevalent at this time of year. A preferred target is your car, or more so, cash that could scam your auto insurance company through a stage accident or fake injury claim. These shady characters don’t just spoil your vacation. They spoil your driving record, raise car insurance premiums for everyone, and sometimes even kill innocent people or seriously injure them. These phantom accidents cost insurers $20 billion a year…the costs to drivers at rates of $100-$300 per vehicle in annual premiums. Knowing how it works and what to do if you suspect a scam will help you avoid becoming the last victim of holiday car accident scams and help you save on auto insurance.
Car parks are a favorite of scammers, especially during the holiday season when malls are crowded and people are in a hurry. Watch out for the “helpful” driver who waves you out of the tight parking spot only to crash into your car. You back off so they had the supposed right of way. You are wrong and a false claim will go against you. Politely refuse to help them and let them target some other goof. If this sounds like a liability and you suspect someone’s motive, get their license number and description of their vehicle and present it to the mall management, security guard or parking facility so they can be alert.
On the road, keep plenty of road between you and the vehicle in front of you. This is not just a good driving habit, it may even prevent you from falling victim to the squat and squat scam. It goes like this: you’re driving, you cut the driver’s car in front of you and hit his brakes. You can’t stop in time, so you stop the guy (his car, by the way, is usually full of passengers). guess what? Surprisingly everyone in that car has an injury or some other soft tissue disease that is hard to refute. These bad guys work in conjunction with chiropractors, lawyers, physical therapists, and auto repair shops. Bottom line: You’ve failed and you can forget about a good driver discount the next time you’re looking for auto insurance quotes. Need another reason to never open the back door?
These scammers tend to be opportunistic – kind of like great white sharks that roam the roads in search of easy targets. They will intentionally wipe you out if you accidentally drift into their lane. After encouraging you to blend into heavy traffic, they will bump into you when you do and then reject it to the police. They’ll wait until you reach an intersection and then dash in at you. Implanted witnesses will say that you ran a red light or a stop sign.
Protect yourself and your good driving record. Call the police immediately and don’t accept cash right away. Take plenty of pictures of the accident scene, the driver, the passengers and the pedestrians with your cell phone or camera. Get names, addresses, and phone numbers, too. do not provide the other driver with more personal information than is required by law; You don’t want to be a victim of identity theft either!