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Car Insurance Fraud and Scams: How to Avoid Them

Being in a car accident is a difficult thing whether the accident was your fault or not. Unfortunately, there are individuals out there who make it their career to scam people in one way or another and they do it by endangering lives, causing financial pain, and causing mental anguish. That is why it is good to be aware of these frauds and scams because the unsuspecting are usually those who end up with higher car insurance premiums, points against their license, and even cancelled insurance. Don't let this be you. Be aware of what these scammers do and do everything you can to avoid it.

The types of scams

There are several scams that are well known amongst law enforcement and the general public alike. These scams include:

- The Exaggeration Scam: This is the scam in which the individual doing the scamming has inflicted prior damage to their car to make it look like the damage occurred in their accident with you. These individuals stage the accident, although the crash may be legitimate. Because their vehicle was not appraised prior to the accident, the damage they inflicted on it cannot be proven to be or not to be part of the accident. They are given the benefit of the doubt and they receive payment for that damage from your insurance.

- Rear-ender Scam: The scammer will dodge out in front of you and will then slam on their brakes. They make sure that they do this when you don't have enough time to brake and avoid hitting them. Unfortunately, the police and the insurance companies automatically assume the second car is at fault in a rear-end crash.

Another unfortunate thing about the rear-ender scam is the fact that a false medical claim usually follows. The scammer convinces a doctor that they sustained injuries in the crash. What happens is that your insurance pays for their pain and suffering, as well as their medical bills. Sometimes these scammers may even have a medical accomplice who receives a payoff for their cooperation.

- The Good Samaritan Scam: This is the individual that waves you on when you can't see if traffic is coming. However, they wave you into the path of their partner and they ram right into you. What happens is that it looks like you drove out into traffic, which makes it look like your fault. When the cops arrive, the waver denies they ever waved you on.

How to avoid these scams

First and foremost, you need to be a defensive driver. You have to always stay alert and not always trust those around you. If someone waves you on, don't trust them. You still need to creep out into the street until you can see. You can wave at them to thank them, but don't gun it out into traffic. You also need to do everything you can to make sure there is plenty of space between you and the car in front of you. If someone darts out in front of you, you need to slow down just in case.

Furthermore, you should be sure to document everything in case of car accidents. Keep a disposable camera in your car to take pictures of the accident and make sure you listen to what all of the witnesses say to the police. You also want to acquire a copy of the police report when it is available so that you can tell your insurance company about your suspicions. Insurance companies are experienced in stopping scammers, so provide them with everything you have so that you can turn the tables on the scammers.

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