Consumers need to be aware that con artists are staging automobile accidents, which are being created in order to defraud auto insurance companies.
Staged accident claims increased 46 percent from 2007 through 2009, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
The top five states that generated the most staged accident claims are Florida, New York, California, Texas, and Illinois.
“As consumers take the road for holiday travel, it is important to practice defensive driving and to educate themselves about staged accidents,” said Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. “Drivers may already be distracted with inclement weather, busy streets, and holiday stress but it is equally important to be aware of other drivers who purposefully plan a collision. Staged automobile accidents are one of the fastest-growing types of fraud in the insurance industry.”
In a staged automobile accident, waiting drivers position themselves so they can create auto accidents with unsuspecting drivers. Because staged accidents are difficult to prove, criminals often include passengers in their automobiles who also claim to have had injuries.
Types of staged automobile accidents include:
Swoop and squat – A driver causes an intentional and unavoidable rear-end collision by abruptly entering the lane in front of the victim, or cutting the victim off, pulling in front of the victim, and forcing the victim to break suddenly.