How to Avoid Staged Auto Accidents

Imagine this. You're driving on a busy highway on a beautiful Saturday morning. A fairly old Nissan Sentra full of passengers quickly gets in front of you and slams the breaks. You fail to react and rear-end the Sentra thinking it's your fault and that you're lucky to be alive. But you're wrong. This time, it isn't your fault at all. This time, you've actually been scammed by a group of fraudsters who staged the entire accident.

Staged accidents cost the insurance industry about $20 billion dollars each year – these costs that we pay ourselves when insurance rates hike up each year. In fact, staged accidents have been played as far back as ancient Greece when insurance first began. They then traveled to England and North America and when the automobile was introduced, staged accidents became very popular. Today, with the rise of modern technology, staged accidents have become very sophisticated making it almost impossible to detect fraud and scams. They can range from rear-ending cars accidents to adding more damage after the accident as well as arranging fake helpers such as doctors and lawyers to scam people after the accident. Therefore, it is important to educate yourself about these types of scams that are out there and how to avoid them before you are the next victim.

Here's a list of the common stage accidents that you need to be aware of and how you can prevent them.

  • Rear ending car accidents: In this type of staged accident, a scam driver will quickly get in front of your car and slam his breaks forcing you to rear-end his car. After the accident, he will collect money for the damages done and may claim more money for fake injuries. So, watch out for these types of drivers. When you drive, always make sure that there is enough room between cars. If an accident does happen, make sure you record all the details of the accident, the damage done to both cars and also record the number of people in the car.
  • Adding damage after the accident: After an accident, many scam drivers will go to another location and cause more damage to the vehicle. So, be aware of this. If you have a camera, take pictures for evidence.
  • Fake helpers: After the accident, some scam artists will offer you help to find an auto repair shop, a doctor or a lawyer. You may be very grateful for this person's kindness and thoughtfulness. But what you may not know is that they are all part of the scam. The repair shop may charge you lot more and the scam doctors and lawyers will also lie to your insurance company to claim more. So, look out for these scammers and when you receive help, let them know that you would rather go to your own repair shop or your doctor or lawyer instead.
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Identity theft comes in many forms.

A person\92s identity can be 'borrowed' for the purpose of creating fictional credit cards or a person\92s entire identity can be usurped to the point where they can have difficulty proving that they really are who they claim to be.

Up to 18% of identity theft victims take as long as four years to realize that their identity has been stolen.

There are many ways to protect your personal identity and many steps you can take to prevent your identity from being stolen:

*Never give out unnecessary personal information
*Never provide bank details or social security numbers over the Internet
*Always remain aware of who is standing behind you when you type in your personal credit codes at ATM machines and at supermarket checkout swipe machines.