Have you ever been cruising down the road, minding your own business, when you notice that you’re being boxed in by two other drivers? One ahead of you begins slowing down drastically, a third vehicle stopping in front of them at a high rate of speed, while the one in the lane beside you keeps pace with you, keeping you from swerving to avoid this collision.
This scenario is a common form of car insurance scam. Since the driver who rear-ends someone is usually considered “at fault” in an accident, this scam exists to defraud insurance companies and to fake accidents to file civil suits against innocent people.
The above insurance scam is called the “swoop and squat”. All three cars involved were working in conjunction, and, since the “swoop” car that slows in front of the “squat” car that you ran into isn’t present when the police arrive, you’ll be left on the hook for the insurance costs.
A related version of insurance fraud is the staged stop. Often, scammers will cram four or five people into one car to maximize potential “injuries,” and will then cruise around looking for distracted drivers. Then, upon finding their mark, they’ll slam on their brakes in front of the driver. Often, this is done with a “swoop” car, like the swoop and squat.
Other times, this is just done in a manner that looks like it could be normal traffic patterns.
In either case, once the collision has occurred, the victim will be considered at-fault due to the rear-ending. Often, the scammers will have already used razors to cut themselves or will have struck themselves to cause bruising before the incident even occurred. This way, they can maximize their pain and suffering claims with your insurance.
Another insidious form of insurance scam is the “drive down”. This takes place when the scammers waves for the victim to turn or merge. This is often done with a friendly smile, as an act of kindness to another driver. Then, boom, the scammer runs into the victim, and claims that they never waved at the victim to begin with. Other times, they’ll say they were swatting at a fly that got into their car, not waving the other driver on.
Stay vigilant on the road. These scams are more common than you think, and they can cost you serious money on your insurance premiums.