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Trucking Scams Part 1: Insurance Fraud

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How to hope for the best, and plan for the worst

By Protecting Yourself, You Can Help Stop Scammers

Scams are everywhere. We’ve all been, or know someone who was duped, swindled, cheated or lied to for access to their personal information or finances. You don’t think it can happen to you, until it does. While you can’t stop them all, you can start to protect yourself by learning about some common trucking scams.

This is the first of a four part series to help truckers, just like you, keep an eye on your business and finances.

Insurance Fraud

Insurance fraud is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and one of the biggest scams in the industry. It’s estimated to cost $80 billion annually and there are many ways to do it.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), some scammers, driving a normal 4-wheeled vehicle, try to get into accidents with 18-wheelers on purpose. This is often called the “swoop and squat scam.” They know big trucking companies need insurance to operate, so they try to cause accidents to get big payouts. Some will even fill their car full of more passengers to increase the insurance payouts!

Here are some tips to help prevent insurance fraud or lessen damages if you are involved in an accident like this.

  1. Call the police. An official report may prevent the scam from getting worse.
  2. Photograph everything! Take pictures of both vehicles and all passengers so you can show any damages.
  3. Write down the name, drivers license numbers and contact information of all passengers. This will protect you if anyone claims there were additional passengers.
  4. Check both front and back license plates of the car and write the information down to make sure they match.
  5. Install a dash cam or other video recording device in your cab. This way you’ll have video proof to defend your side of the story.
  6. Don’t give out your personal information to any medical or legal services after an accident, especially if you didn’t reach out to them. This is an easy way for scammers to get your personal information.

If you suspect a insurance fraud, call the NICB at 1-800-835-6422. Give them as much information as possible including license plate number, accident location, and any details of the suspected fraud.