According to many experts auto accident insurance fraud is on the rise in America. Criminals, often as part of an organized crime group, find several intricate ways to pull off these nefarious schemes. Fortunately there are several ways for victims to protect themselves, and attorneys to detect these frauds.
Accident Fraud Investigations

Common Types of Fraud:

  1. Auto Accident Fraud

    Accident fraud involves staging a phony accident to collect large insurance claims. The group practicing fraud will often have “passengers” that claim back and neck injuries as a result of the accident and collect large claims for largely phony injuries. Experts have identified three common types of accidents that are usually intentional and fraudulent.

    • a) The Swoop and Squat
      Swoop Squat Accident Fraud
      The swoop and squat involves a driver pulling directly in front of the victim’s path and then putting on the brakes, causing a rear-end collision. Since the rear driver is very often assumed at-fault for a rear-end collision, this is particularly easy fraud accident to pull off.
    • b) The Sideswipe
      Sideswipe Accident Fraud
      This involves the fraudulent driver drifting into the other lane on a dual-lane left turn. The fraudulent driver will then blame the victim driver on not making space or watching for other cars during the turn.
    • c) The Drive Down
      The drive down involves the victim driver being encouraged to merge into a lane. The fraudulent driver then accelerates, causing a crash that is easily blamed on the merging driver. The fraudulent driver will often deny encouraging the victim driver to merge.

  2. Shady Helpers Fraud

    This type of fraud goes hand-in-hand with a fraudulent accident. A stranger will approach the victim driver on the scene of the accident (or shortly after) and convince them to contact a specific repair shop, insurance agent or attorney. These said services are working hand in hand with the stranger in order to take advantage of the victim.

  3. Insurance Agent Fraud

    This fraud involves an agent that supposedly sets up an insurance account, but in actuality, the agent is pocketing the premiums, and the agent never actually sets up the account. Drivers are then left holding the bill due to fake coverage.

Practicing safe and defensive driving is one of the best defenses against fraud. Do not give fraudulent drivers the opportunity to cause an accident.

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Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is a private investigator and founder of Tristar Investigation, California’s premiere detective agency. Bruce is also a media commentator for the investigation industry, featured in the New York Times, CNN, History Channel, MSNBC, Los Angeles Times and many more. You can find him on Google+ LinkedIn and YouTube.