Car Accident Scams

How to identify the scoundrels and how to protect yourself

Car accidents are expensive, but if you happen to be a victim of a car accident scam-you may end up with a costly insurance claim that costs you a bundle. Here are some ways folks who deal in car accident insurance scams not only rip off innocent victims; but also endanger the lives of innocent drivers and those in the vehicle with them (i.e., our spouse, children, and friends).

Car accident insurance scams occur when any vehicle is purposely placed in danger in order to collect on an insurance claim. This type of fraud as far back as ancient Greece, when sailors purposefully sunk ships, an activity referred to as ship scuttling, which is the deliberate sinking of a ship by allowing water to flow into the hull. Typically, a fraudster will set up a car accident by deliberately stopping hard in front of another driver who is following a bit too closely, causing the driver to hit the rear end of their vehicle. Of course, the accident will look like the innocent driver is at fault. Furthermore, driving scams can also employ individuals that you would normally trust after a car accident-such as a lawyer, insurance adjuster, or medical professional.

Today, automobiles give more opportunity for organized crime rings and even individuals to perform car accident fraud to make a quick buck. However, there are ways to identify a car accident scam and protect yourself from being a scoundrel’s next victim:

The 4 common car accident scams

There are many types of car insurance scams and scammers will set up all kinds of accidents to entrap their victim, including:

1. Set-up rear-end car collisions
This is one of the more common car collision scam where the fraudulent driver will almost cut a driver off to get in front of them then slam on the breaks, causing the innocent driver to rear-end them. The innocent driver always appears at fault and the scammer will claim money for the accident, and oftentimes fake a related injury as well causing even more damages to be paid by the innocent driver.

2. Causing additional damage to a vehicle
This type of fraud typically occurs after a motor vehicle accident. It has the scammer causing additional and extensive damage to their vehicle in order to claim more money when they state it happened due to the accident.

3. Fake Samaritans
Beware of this type of scam when you pull out of a driveway into an intersection or get waved into traffic by a so-called “innocent” bystander. Scammers will often pretend to do innocent drivers a favor by waving them into traffic only to plow into the innocent driver. They will then claim they never gave a wave, and deny they even saw the innocent driver before it was too late.

4. Scam referrals
This type of car accident fraud always occurs following a car collision. The scammer will look helpful by referring an innocent accident victim to a fraudulent auto mechanic, medical professional, or lawyer who will overcharge or lie about injuries to collect more money from the insurance claim. You can protect yourself by consulting with a Denver attorney.