Car accident scams can take place anywhere, however, they typically occur in wealthy urban areas. The criminals that run these scams mostly target new, rental, or commercial vehicles as they are considered high-value targets. Generally speaking, women and the elderly are targeted more frequently as they are expected to be less confrontational at an accident scene compared to men. The different types of accident schemes include:
The criminal vehicle will drive in front of you, laying in wait for you to get distracted. Once your attention is averted, no matter how briefly, they will slam on their breaks causing you to rear-end them. Typically the vehicle that failed to stop will be liable for the accident; paying for all property damage as well as any injuries sustained by those occupying the other vehicle.
A sideswipe scam typically occurs in a dual left-turn lane. When both lanes begin making a left turn, the criminal will move their vehicle into the inner left lane; sideswiping the victim’s vehicle.
The Pre-Damaged Vehicle
This type of scam involves criminals using previously damaged vehicles to cause auto accidents. The damage to their vehicle may be from a previous accident, or they may have caused the damage themselves using tools like a sledgehammer. When they cause another accident, they will blame all of this damage on the victim.
A drive down accident occurs when a vehicle in a merge lane slows down to allow oncoming traffic to merge. Once a vehicle attempts to merge onto the road, the criminal vehicle will speed up and hit the innocent vehicle; making it look like the victim driver attempted to cut off the criminal driver.
Another variation of this scam may occur at a traffic light. When an innocent driver is attempting to make a left-hand turn, a criminal driver in oncoming traffic will signal the victim to pull forward through the intersection. When the innocent driver proceeds to make the left turn, the criminal will then pull out and hit them. The driver making the left turn will be cited as responsible for the accident, as those making left turns must yield to oncoming traffic.
The swoop and squat may involve three or four vehicles. This plot involves a criminal driving in front of the victim (referred to as the squat car), with another criminal flanking one or both sides of the victim’s vehicle. They do this so the victim cannot change lanes to avoid the collision. Then another vehicle will swoop in and cut off the squat car, who will then quickly apply their brakes; causing the victim to rear-end the squat car. The car that swooped in will then speed off, along with the flanking vehicles; leaving the squat and victim’s car on the scene.
How To Avoid Being A Victim of Accident Scams
- Don’t Tailgate
- Call 911 Immediately After an Accident
- Document the Accident Scene, Especially the Damage to the Vehicles Involved
- Drive Carefully
- Always Apply Your Breaks as Soon as Traffic Begins to Slow Down.
How To Report Suspicious Automobile Accidents
You can report suspicious automobile accidents to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), they will investigate your accident and take the necessary action. You can get in contact with them by:
- Texting ‘FRAUD’ and your tip to TIP411 (847411),
- Calling 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-853-6422), or
- You can submit a form at www.nicb.org
These tips can be anonymous.
How a Utah Attorney Can Help You
If you fall victim to one of these scams, a Utah attorney can help. They can help you receive the compensation that you deserve. They can also protect you against unwarranted legal action. When you first speak with an attorney, tell them all the details of your accident, and they will inform you of how they can help you.
Were you or someone you know involved in a recent auto accident? Call Auto Accident Care Network now at 801-683-1948 to connect with a live care advocate. Our team at AACN can connect you to trusted attorneys and doctors to schedule a free legal consultation, a free thirty-minute massage, and a no-cost medical exam!