Sadly, insurance scams are still a huge problem in today’s society. There’s always someone out there looking to make themselves money while scamming people out of theirs.
It’s common to think that once a scam has been conducted multiple times and has been identified, fraudsters will give up and move on. Unfortunately, there are some scammers that still use their tried and tested methods to get other people’s money, especially when it comes to vehicle insurance fraud.
As we work closely with some of the biggest names in fleet breakdown cover and insurance in the UK, we’ve witnessed some of these scams in action. Here are three of the most common vehicle insurance scams that we’ve seen and how you can avoid being caught out by a fraudster in action.
The Fake Emergency Stop
This is one of the most potentially dangerous scams out there, and unfortunately it is one that we see all too often. It involves a car full of people, all of whom are looking out for a potential target vehicle on the road.
Once a target has been located, the fraudster will then pull in front of them in a seemingly innocent and legal way, with the other passengers watching the target behind them. They will be looking for any sign that the target isn’t concentrating on the road, even for a brief second.
If they notice a slight lapse in concentration, the fraudsters will be alerted and anchor on their brakes, causing the victim to slam into the back of the fraudster’s vehicle, making the victim the “cause” of the accident and having their insurance pay for the damage.
The “Considerate” Driver
As a careful driver, it’s often easy to think that other drivers on the road are as considerate as you, but as we all know, that isn’t always true.
This scam involves a fraudster appearing to let you merge into another lane of traffic by motioning you to come across with their hands to make you think that they are letting you in.
However, once you begin to merge, the scammer will then speed up and collide with your vehicle, denying to anyone that asks that they motioned for you to merge into the traffic. With only your word against theirs, it is very difficult for insurance companies to determine whose fault it really was.
The “Swoop and Squat”
This scam is very similar to the fake emergency stop, but includes another car as well. Fraudsters will drive two cars; the first, the “squat car” will be driving in front of you for a while, then the second, the “swoop car”, will swerve in front of the squat to cause it to anchor on the brakes and force you to emergency stop.
If your reaction time isn’t quick enough, you’ll find yourself colliding with the squat car. In the meantime, the swoop car will have had time to drive away, and because you will blame the swoop car for the accident, you won’t be able to claim from their insurance as you won’t have recorded the number plate and insurance companies won’t be able to gather any details.
How to Avoid Scams
The main piece of advice that we would give to all drivers, no matter whether they are driving their own car, a company vehicle or van , is to keep your eyes on the road at all times. The more vigilant you are, the more likely you will be to spot any suspicious behaviour in other road users.
Always make sure that you are driving the correct distance away from the car in front, just in case they need to brake quickly.
If you have been in an accident, always be wary of people who are quick to jump in and offer their help, advice or statement as they may well be in on the scam as well.
Ensuring that your fleet is adequately insured so that you are covered for any damages that aren’t your fault is essential- not to mention it could save you a lot of money, too! If you’d like us to help you find the perfect insurance quote for your vehicles, don’t hesitate to contact our team today on 0333 202 3173 or head over to our Facebook and Twitter pages to make sure that you’re keeping up to date with our news and updates!
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