12 NEWS DEFENDERS: Scammers staging car accidents - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

12 NEWS DEFENDERS: Scammers staging car accidents

They are predators on the road – scam artists looking to rip off insurance companies and they make you and your car a target. But there are some ways to protect yourself.

"Make money by having an actual job. Instead of going around scamming innocent people," one victim said.

The victim is still angry after she got tangled in an insurance scam by simply being at an intersection.

"I was stopped at a stop sign and a car was going to turn left in front of me. So, she waved me on. As I was turning she hit the back of my car," the victim said.

As soon as it happened, the victim approached the other car.

"I asked if everyone was ok, and they all had a different ailment. It was 'It's my neck, my knee, my eye.' They were all wearing seatbelts. So, I knew that I had been scammed right away," the victim said.

Immediately she grabbed her cell phone.

"I started taking pictures with my cell phone. That seemed to upset them greatly. They didn't want me taking pictures of their car or anyone in the car, because I knew they weren't telling the truth. There was no way they could have injured themselves in the way they were describing just by a little bump to my car," the victim said.

Postal inspectors say the victim was one of 80 targeted by this group alone. Total losses: $130,000.

"All of a sudden they're in this car accident and they have no idea how they got there because they were being waved on," said US Postal Inspector Stephanie Barrett.

Another version of the scam occurs in parking lots when the victim is backing out of a spot.

"The suspect's car would stop and wave them out of the parking spot. And they would start going out of the spot and the suspect car would drive as fast as they could and hit the other vehicle," Barrett said.

Inspectors got a lucky break.

"On her case, we happened to get the black box from the vehicle the suspect was driving. It shows them going from a dead stop at 0 miles per hour to 30 in 2 seconds in order to hit her car," Barrett said.

"I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I'm trusting by nature - but it has hardened me to not really believe everything someone says or does," the victim said.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau offers these tips:

  • Avoid tailgating
  • Call police to an accident scene...even if the damage is minimal.
  • Take pictures of the damage and make note of the number of people in the other car.
  • Avoid people who suddenly appear at an accident scene and try to direct you to a doctor or lawyer.
  • Also, watch out for tow trucks that arrive at the scene without you calling.

Find more tips on the National Insurance Crime Bureau website

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Local pastors split on separation of children and families at the border

    Local pastors split on separation of children and families at the border

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 11:36 PM EDT2018-06-20 03:36:07 GMT

    We’re getting reaction from local pastors to the controversy dividing the county of images of crying children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. This week the White House referencing the Bible to justify it.

    More >>

    We’re getting reaction from local pastors to the controversy dividing the county of images of crying children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. This week the White House referencing the Bible to justify it.

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT: Rain expected on Thursday

    FIRST ALERT: Rain expected on Thursday

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 11:10 PM EDT2018-06-20 03:10:24 GMT

    The weather will remain quiet Tuesday night and overnight with temperatures falling into the mid-70s. Model data is indicating the possibility of a few showers in west Alabama during the morning. The rain chances before noon will remain low.

    More >>

    The weather will remain quiet Tuesday night and overnight with temperatures falling into the mid-70s. Model data is indicating the possibility of a few showers in west Alabama during the morning. The rain chances before noon will remain low.

    More >>
  • Cullman stores damaged in hail storm set to reopen soon

    Cullman stores damaged in hail storm set to reopen soon

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 11:05 PM EDT2018-06-20 03:05:25 GMT
    Stores at the Marketplatz center are set to reopen soon (Source: WBRC)Stores at the Marketplatz center are set to reopen soon (Source: WBRC)
    Stores at the Marketplatz center are set to reopen soon (Source: WBRC)Stores at the Marketplatz center are set to reopen soon (Source: WBRC)

    Good news for Cullman shoppers: several stores damaged in the March hail storm are set to open in the next couple weeks. The parking lot is still pretty empty, but the store signs are fixed, the roofs have been repaired, and instead of 'closed' signs, there are now signs that say 'coming soon.' 

    More >>

    Good news for Cullman shoppers: several stores damaged in the March hail storm are set to open in the next couple weeks. The parking lot is still pretty empty, but the store signs are fixed, the roofs have been repaired, and instead of 'closed' signs, there are now signs that say 'coming soon.' 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly