There are many types of scams out there, looking to take advantage of people and make a quick buck for clever criminals. There are email scams, tax scams, and charity scams, to name a few of the common ones. However, many people overlook the possibility of falling victim to a personal injury scam, or an insurance scam. What are these scams, and how can you avoid falling victim to them? Keep reading to find out.
What Is a Personal Injury Scam?
Personal injury scams, also known as insurance scams, involve a person faking an injury in order to make money off of you or collect from your insurance. The tactics for these can vary, since there are so many different types of personal injuries, but can frequently involve strategies like rolling onto the hood of your car after rushing out into the road, or pretending to slip and fall on your property. These tricks can often appear quite convincing, but often, these people are not actually hurt at all; they’re just very good actors.
Generally, after faking the injury, the person will demand some form of payment from you if you want to avoid a lawsuit. In other cases, they may demand your insurance information so that they can file a claim against it and collect money that way. In the former situations, never provide any form of payment out of pocket; if they ask for your insurance information, you can provide it, but make sure that you reach out to your insurance company as well if you find the circumstances suspicious.
How to Avoid Being a Victim
There’s no foolproof way to avoid being targeted by these individuals. After all, you can’t predict when an insurance scammer is going to rush in front of your car, or knock on your door claiming that they slipped and fell on an icy sidewalk. However, there are two key things you can do to minimize your risks of being a victim:
First, let’s talk about the conditions that would contribute to an actual injury. One of the examples we gave above was slipping on an icy sidewalk outside your home. That icy sidewalk is a genuine hazard that could leave you liable for an actual injury; it can also make you an easy target for scammers. Eliminating things like icy stairs and sidewalks, or other hazards that would make you liable for an injury, makes it less likely that a scammer will target you for their antics.
Second, installing cameras on your home and vehicle can go a long way towards protecting you from these scams. A dash cam in your vehicle can show that the individual rushed out in front of you; it may even prove, after further analysis, that the supposed accident was faked. Security cameras on your home’s exterior would show whether or not the person actually fell on your property, and if the fall appeared to be genuine or faked. Having this evidence can protect you from these fraudulent claims and allow you to avoid increased insurance premiums, should the scammer choose to collect from your insurance.
What to Do If You Are Targeted
As we stated earlier, these individuals will typically approach you and either ask for money or for your insurance information. If they are asking for an immediate payout, you can feel confident this is a scam. Refuse to provide any form of payment, and provide your insurance (either home or auto insurance, depending on the exact nature of the supposed injury) instead. If they ask for your insurance, you can provide it, but you should also make sure to collect their insurance information and get a photo of their ID as well. If they’re not willing to provide this information to you, don’t provide yours.
Don’t let threats of lawsuits scare you into complying with their demands. Generally, someone who’s actually been injured will not jump to these kinds of threats to begin with. Instead, let them know that they can work with your insurance company and speak to your attorney. This sort of firm insistence on following proper processes will usually scare scammers away from any attempt to pursue an actual lawsuit, since they won’t have the medical records of a genuine injury or any evidence to support their claims.
If you find yourself facing threats of a personal injury lawsuit, contact The Harr Law Firm today. We’ll represent you and help to shut down the scam, or ensure that your rights are protected if the injury is a legitimate one. Call now to schedule your consultation.