Fake accident scams all over the world

compact car

It’s compact now. — Fake auto accident scams are not just a domestic problem. Image: CodeHooligans/Flickr/CC BY-SA

Economic times are hard worldwide, and financial distress brings out the scammers. A dashboard cam on a Taiwanese man’s car recently captured a particularly clumsy attempt at certain type of auto-related fraud. That video, posted below, inspired this spotlight on fake accident scams.

Fake accident scams escalate

According to DMV.org, the fake accident scam is being seen more and more often in the U.S. But clearly, staging accidents for a quick payday is not just a domestic problem.

Girl’s on the hood

This video shows a thin young person — the video caption says it is a girl — who runs at a car just as it comes to a stop. She then leaps onto the hood of the car and slides off as though horribly injured.

The driver, knowing he has the goods on the scammer, calmly gets out and tells her to rise as he gets out his cell phone. According to the caption on the YouTube video, the driver is a law enforcement officer; if that is the case, then, oops!

According to AutoBlog, this type of crime is epidemic in many parts of the world. This, reportedly, has prompted many drivers to mount cameras onto their dashboards, and to operate them any time the vehicle is in motion.

Common types of staged accidents

Here are a few of the more common types of fake accident scenarios, according to DMV.org:

-T Bone in wait — These scammers wait for a car to go through an intersection, then they hit the accelerator and ram the passing car in the side. Meanwhile, phony witnesses lay in wait to testify that it was the other guy’s fault.

– The “go ahead” Wave — These scammers wave another motorist over when he or she is trying to change lanes in traffic, then the scammer speeds up to cause an accident. Guess who denies giving the other driver the “go ahead” wave when the police and insurance companies come around?

– Use Our guys — Following an accident, staged or real, these scammers will give the other motorist the number of  a great lawyer, or fantastic mechanic, who will take care of them without picking their pocket. Fat chance. The person on the other end of that number is working in cahoots with the scammer, and they will share the money the fleece out of the motorist.

In case of accident…

If you have an accident and feel that it was set up by the other driver, never offer money or settle the matter on site. Be sure to document everything with your phone camera. Get a description of the other driver and his or her vehicle, the license plate number, the vehicle registration,  contact and insurance information. If they are well-documented by you, there is much less chance they will pursue a false insurance claim.

At the same time, you want to leave the other driver with as little information about yourself as you can get away with, lest they are also identity thieves.

Finally, call the police and report the incident.

Video: ‘Fake Car Accident’ 8/23/2012

Sources

AutoBlog
DMV.org
AutoEvolution

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