Insurance fraud is nothing new. Scammers are always finding ways to take advantage of the honest, hard-working folk. Recently, fraudsters have been targeting unsuspecting drivers with crash for cash scams. Faking and staging car accidents, and then claiming expenses higher than they actually are, these con artists take advantage of the roads, circumstances, and distracted drivers.
They don’t only target distracted drivers, though, as anybody can fall victim of crash for cash scams. This is why we need to make sure we fully understand how these scammers work, and what they look for. We also need to be aware of how crash for cash scams can affect us and our insurance policies. Also, knowing how to avoid and identify this type of insurance fraud can be helpful should we ever find ourselves tangled up on a crash for cash situation.
What Do Crash for Cash Scams Mean?
Like we mentioned before, crash for cash scams are becoming quite popular with fraudsters, and we need to know what exactly does this mean. For this type of insurance fraud, scammers will stage a car accident and make it look like you are at fault. They usually do this by suddenly hitting the breaks, causing a rear-end collision. They tend to do this more in urban areas, yet it can happen in rural areas too.
After you’ve hit them, the driver and passengers will get out of the car and ask you call your insurance. They will complain about severe pain and serious injuries, plus they will overvalue the costs or repairing their car. Fraudsters do this to try and get as much as possible from your insurance. They might also try to offer a settlement without involving your insurer and ask for cash instead.
How Do Crash for Cash Scams Affect Me?
The main consequence of staged car crashes is that you and your passengers might get injured. Which is one more reason why we should always be wearing our seatbelts. We should also make sure that if we have any babies or pets with us, they should be properly secured, too.
Another consequence is that, since the fraudsters will make it look like it was our fault, our insurance premiums will increase. This is because our insurance companies will see us as a high risk, meaning that they might be more likely to have to pay for us.
How Can I Avoid Crash for Cash Scams?
There are two ways we can make sure we don’t become a victim of crash for cash scams. The first and more obvious is being as careful and responsible as possible when we are driving. Remember that fraudsters will take advantage of the circumstances, and look for easy targets, too. So, making sure we’re not texting while driving, for example, will reduce the chance of being a victim. Also, completing a defensive driving course can prepare us to react and avoid hitting fraudsters.
However, if we already crashed their car, but still don’t want to fall for the scam, stay alert. Fraudsters using crash for cash scams will appear to be quite calm and polite after the crash. This should be an early warning sign, as most of us would be in shock, or upset about the accident. Another warning sign is that they are usually with passengers, and all of them might be complaining. Also, if the driver insists on calling the insurance right away, and even has their company’s information at hand, the car crash might have been staged.