Auto Insurance Accident Fraud – A Crime of Defrauding Insurance Companies

Crime is everywhere and all around us. Not all crime is requires the use of stun guns or pepper spray to thwart a potential assault or robbery. Some crimes are perpetrated by white collar or blue collar people who take advantage of others when they least expect it.

Many car accidents are merely insurance schemes designed to get the consumer to pay through higher premiums.

You are driving down the interstate when all of a sudden you are involved in a car accident. However, this is not just any car accident. You become a victim of a scheme to defraud your insurance company out of thousands of dollars. Nationally, insurance companies fork over millions of dollars a year to defend against misleading car accident claims by people profiting from these claims. How do car insurance schemes affect you? Who do you think pays for the cost of insurance scams? YOU DO!

You can prevent possible car insurance accident fraud by educating yourself on the techniques that are practiced today. Call your insurance provider if you believe you have been scammed or witnessed a scam. An insurance provider could reward you for your efforts in providing such information.

Here is a list of schemes used today by many white collar criminals.

Paper Accident

A paper accident is when a criminal actively solicits other people in the car repair and salvage industry to partake in accidents that only exits on paper. Crooked lawyers, doctors, and insurance agents are normally part of this scheme as well. The perpetrator will knowingly keep the claim less than $1,000 because most insurance companies will not investigate a claim less than this amount.

Hit & Run

A “hit & run” is when a perpetrator reports a false hit and run to their insurance provider.

Swoop & Squat

Swoop & squat is when a perpetrator abruptly pulls in front of a car (the swoop) and quickly slams on the brakes (the squat). An accomplice moves to the side of the targeted vehicle to prevent the trapped car from swerving out of the way. This is called “boxing in” a vehicle. Then all the passengers in the squat car report injuries that are supported later by a crooked medical doctor or chiropractor.

Sideswipe

This is a technique used in multiple turn lanes at an intersection. A perpetrator will continue to take multiple left turns until another car suddenly moves into the lane in which the perpetrator suddenly accelerates to force impact.

T-bone

This procedure is normally done in the absence of any hostile witnesses. The perpetrator sits and waits at an intersection and knowingly rams into a car as it passes. When police arrive to take an accident report, bogus witnesses show up all of a sudden and tell the officer that the victim ran a stop sign or a red light.

Wave

This tactic is normally done in heavy traffic and when there is a merge. The perpetrator waves to the victim and pretends to yield the right of way. As the victim begins to merge into the lane, the perpetrator accelerates his car to force an impact. When police arrive, the perpetrator falsely reports ever giving up the right of way.

Shady Helper

This could happen after an honest auto accident. A stranger accosts you after an accident and gives you phone numbers to an auto body shop, lawyer, or doctor. This could be a scam. The auto repair shop often fattens your repair cost, and the doctor may give you less than the required clinical treatment or none at all. A lawyer may try to convince you to sue the insurance company.

Most insurance schemes are performed by experts who role-play before actually committing the crime. They are normally very professional and skillful in their deeds, but that does not mean that you can take steps from becoming a victim. The following is some measure than can be taken to shift the advantage to your side.

Keep a disposable camera, pen and paper in your glove compartment. If you have a cell phone with a camera feature, this is perfect! A picture can be a valuable tool in an auto accident. After an accident, take a ton of pictures of every car including the passengers. Get as much information about every person in the accident including names and phone numbers of witnesses. The pictures along with your notes will leave little room for perpetrators to lie about the damage to their car and injury to their passengers afterwards. If you believe an accident was a setup, get good details about the accident! Protect yourself always!

What should you do if you are involved in an auto accident?

1. Exchange information with the driver.

2. Have your driver license, vehicle registration, and proof of insurance ready.

3. Count the number of people in the car and get their:

• Names

• Address

• Telephone number

• Note if they were wearing seatbelts

• Note if they acted injured only after the police arrived at the scene

4. Get the names, address, and phone numbers of anybody that witnessed the accident.

5. Contact police if you believe the accident is staged.

Remember. Even if you are not a victim in an auto insurance fraud, helping insurance companies deter insurance fraud crime benefits you, the honest consumer. The consumer will end up paying for the cost of auto insurance via higher premiums. This is something that many people do not want to do.

What these auto insurance scams can cost you

Record Blemished–Many insurance companies keep records of your driving history to measure the risk of insuring motorists. The driving history is what determines your eligibility to be insured by the insurance company. Whether an accident is faked or not, your driving record will be affected.

Victims Terrorized, Killed–Staged accidents for insurance claims is very dangerous to your health. It only takes one mistake by you or the perpetrators to take your life of the lives of your loved ones.

Premiums Increased–Everybody’s car insurance premiums go up because the cost of fake insurance claims is passed on to you, the honest consumer.

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