Given the stress and expense surrounding car crashes, it’s no surprise that scam artists like to use them as yet another way to obtain money and sensitive personal information. In addition to staging crashes and lying to insurance companies, they will also try other tactics to squeeze money out of you during a stressful moment.
In one recent scam reported in the local news, El Paso County residents received a phone call from someone telling them that their loved one had gotten into a minor crash and was being held hostage by the other driver (who just happened to be a fugitive from the law who needed money immediately).
This might all seem ludicrous, but the scam artists speak with urgency and supply some realistic details (the name of the loved one, the color of the car) in the hope that in the stress of the moment you’ll believe their story and cooperate with them instead of calling the police.
Looking out for staged crashes
Scam artists will also try to get you into a car crash that will make you look most at fault. For instance, they may suddenly cut in front of you and hit the brakes, causing you to get into a rear-end crash with their vehicle. If you’re trying to get out of a parking space or merge into traffic, the scam artist driver may stop or slow down and give you a signal to go ahead; they’ll then crash their car into yours.
They could have accomplices too. They might have passengers who pretend to be injured. There may be other people waiting in the vicinity, ready to approach you and point you to a specific lawyer, insurance agent, medical practitioner, or auto mechanic who are in on the scam.
Fake insurance claims
Regardless of whether or not a crash is staged, the other driver may be dishonest. They may make false claims of damages or lie about injuries, including fabricating the existence of injured passengers.
If you’re ever in an accident, get all the information you can from the other driver and take photos; also, write down what happened in detail, making note of any suspicious behaviors. Try to get the names and contact info of multiple witnesses. Don’t be quick to sign any forms or claim fault for the crash; also don’t allow yourself to be pressured into going along with any services (legal, medical, etc.) suddenly offered to you by strangers on the scene.
Under these circumstances, contacting experienced Colorado Springs auto accident lawyers is definitely a good idea; we’ll review your case and offer you advice on what best to do. If there’s evidence of fraudulent behavior, you’ll need to notify the proper authorities. There’s so much to deal with after a car accident, including insurance problems, medical bills, and repair expenses, that you’ll benefit from having the assistance of an experienced attorney.