How do I protect myself? (Fraud)

WE ARE NAPA COUNTY

District Attorney's OfficeAllison Haley, District Attorney

Allison Haley headshot
How do I protect myself from unwittingly becoming involved in an auto insurance fraud scheme or a staged collision?
  • Leave a safe distance between you and the car in front.
  • Be cautious when someone grants you the right-of-way.
  • Watch for traffic when backing.
  • Always give pedestrians the right-of-way.
Remember, an experienced “con artist” will not be obvious when staging a collision. He or she will make you feel that there was nothing you could have done to prevent the collision. If you are involved in a collision, be aware of possible indicators of insurance fraud. Some of these indicators may include:
  • Problem I.D. – The other party gives you a temporary identification without a photo or the I.D. was not issued by a state agency.
  • No Permanent Address – The other party provides a post office box instead of a local street address.
  • The Quick Exit – The other party wants to get your information fast and leaves the scene before police arrive or a report is taken.
  • Pre-Existing Damage – The other party has pre-existing damage or other damage not consistent with the collision (take photos of damage when possible).
  • Insurance “lingo”- The other party uses words or terminologies which suggest considerable knowledge of insurance procedures.
  • Excessive Bills – You are asked to reimburse the other party of apparently inflated, unusually high, or even false bills. These could include excessive charges for towing, body/fender repair or medical bills.
  • Growing Injuries – The collision occurs at slow speeds, and the other party initially complains of only minor injury. No ambulance is called, but later the injury is claimed to have grown into a serious medical condition.