Staged auto accident fraud occurs when a criminal targets another driver on the road and uses manipulative methods to get them to crash their vehicle into the criminal’s vehicle. From there, the criminal uses the crash incident as a way to file false insurance claims.
This form of fraud can appear in a variety of sophisticated schemes. Here are some common methods of staged auto accident fraud:
- The Drive Down: After being motioned by the criminal, the victim merges into traffic. As they merge, the criminal speeds up to cause a collision, later denying any motion to merge.
- The Panic Stop: The criminal pulls in front of the victim, and a passenger watches for the victim to become distracted. Once distracted, the criminal slams on the brakes, causing the victim to rear-end the criminal.
- The Sideswipe: The criminal positions their vehicle in the outer turn lane and sideswipes the victim in the inner turn lane.
To prevent staged auto accident fraud, always avoid tailgating other vehicles, as tailgating makes it easier for criminals to target you on the road. If you do get in an accident, call the police immediately, and document the damages by taking pictures and videos on your phone. Be sure to get the names and contact information of everyone involved—even vehicle passengers.
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