Warning about 'Crash for Cash' scam | What you should know

Nydia Han Image
Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Warning about 'Crash for Cash' scam | What you should know
A warning on a scam that you could become embroiled in any time you're on the road.

There's a warning about a scam that you could become embroiled in any time you're on the road.

It's called "Crash for Cash," and it's becoming more prevalent in the United States.

"Fraudulent or staged vehicle accidents where people pretty much... go as far as to throw themselves in front of vehicles," said Jonathan Shin of the Shin Law Group.

"Crash for Cash" scams are perpetrated by a driver or cyclist intentionally running into an unsuspecting victim, or slamming the brakes, all to cause a crash.

Then, the perpetrator shakes down drivers and insurance companies for cash.

"So people can say, 'I've been injured, something's happened, someone's knocked me down,' or, 'I've been involved in this incident, and I'm going to sue you and take as much money as I can do.' And it's all fraudulent," said retired UK traffic police officer Ben Pearson.

"Crash for Cash" scams have been prevalent in Europe and parts of Asia for years, and it's a growing crime in the U.S. - and it's costing all of us.

Insurance fraud means higher premiums, costing an estimated $900 per consumer per year, and property and casualty fraud is now costing Americans $45 billion per year.

No matter how careful you are, you could become a victim. So, experts suggest another deterrent: a visible dash cam.

But, they say to make sure it's high quality.

"Because you don't want something that's bugging out, or you don't want something that's going to have a very bad resolution where you can't make out a license plate number or something to that effect," said Shin.

It is another reason to avoid distracted driving, as "Crash for Cash" incidents can happen in just a matter of seconds.

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