There are financial benefits to be gained by artificially creating accidents. In cahoots with the medical establishments and car workshops, ‘accident claim specialists’ aka accident baiters can make away with exorbitant claims and profit off your insurance.
For those of you who aren’t in the know, a group of men were recently caught on camera appearing out of nowhere at an accident scene. Claiming to be ‘accident claim specialists’, they were allegedly asking those involved in the accident to file insurance and medical claims, and send their damaged vehicles to their workshops for servicing.
Apparently, this isn’t the first instance of them appearing. Many motorists have shared their own run-ins with this group of men, and have highlighted that they are actually a syndicate that targets accident victims.
Who Are They & Their Modus Operandi
Details remain fairly scant, but what we do know is that multiple parties are involved in the operation. Multiple cars may be involved in the act. It is also not uncommon for a tow truck to be part of the scheme too.
A victim is first identified, and the accident baiters proceed to aggressively drive around the victim to first disorient him/her. This taunting also serves to potentially rile up the victim, leading to overall poorer decision-making skills.
(Photo Credit: Pexels)
Consequently, this can lead to delayed reaction times - crucial to pulling the scam off. The baiter then drives in front of the victim and slams on the brakes very sharply. Given the state they've subconsciously induced to the victim, it is unlikely that he/she would be able to react in time, potentially slamming their vehicle into the baiters at a high rate of speed.
A tow truck miraculously appears out of nowhere and offers towing services to an associated workshop. Other vehicles may also appear at the accident scene, and be involved in the accident in one way or another - there's no reason why they can't stage a chain collision for maximising insurance claims.
Such fraudulent claims from seemingly minute accidents can really put a dent in your premiums come renewal time. You may lose that precious NCD you've spent years building up, in a staged accident.
But the incident is just the start of your headaches. Often, they are in cahoots with shady medical establishments and car workshops, who get dibs on the healthy insurance payout from your policy.
These companies write vastly inflated repair/medical bills, which are enough to not only cover the actual repairs/treatment (if any), but with enough left over to be distributed and for the ploy to be worth it.
What To Do If You Encounter Them
It's a good rule of thumb that if you spot someone driving erratically, you should err on the side of caution and give some extra room to the car they are in. It is not unwise to keep your distance to minimise the risk of an accident.
Be situationally aware and prepare to take evasive action. Try to be aware of your surroundings consistently - scan all three mirrors ever so often, and practice trying to build up a mental image of where your car is in relation to the vehicles around you.
The awareness will allow you to spot potential hazards more quickly, and those precious seconds you gained from being mindful can save you from a crash too.
If these tips are a little over your head, just try and practice common sense behind the wheel - keeping a safe distance to the car ahead is always going to be sound advice!
What To Do When Approached?
Insist on exchanging details, and take as many photos as you possibly can of the incident. Make it very clear that you will be going through your own insurer and letting them escalate the case.
If the car is damaged and unable to be moved, do inform your insurance company and let them tow your car away to a workshop authorised by said insurance company.
Do report all accidents to your insurers at the earliest possible convenience, even if you do not intend to claim on your policy. Accidents that have resulted in injuries, or involve damage to government property or foreign vehicles must be reported to the police.
Remember to save a copy of the dashcam footage on your mobile device, so it can be used as evidence when needed!
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