Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Watch Out For Parking Lot Tricksters

A quick warning to watch out for parking lot "Samaritans" -- con artists who claim they spotted smoke coming from your car, or another problem, and offer to put it right for you.

I've read about these tricksters quite a lot recently. In most cases, they're just out to make a quick buck, usually claiming that they happen to be auto mechanics. 

If this happens to you, the best thing is to refuse their offer, get in your car and drive away. Don’t leave your vehicle because these crooks might try to take revenge on it. Then get your car checked out by someone you trust.

Another parking lot problem I hear more about these days is the fake "accident". This time, the scammers purposely get in your way when you're backing out.

They may be on foot or in a vehicle, but the aim is to get you to bump them so they can make a claim on your auto insurance. They may even threaten you and demand cash there and then.

Look out for people hanging about near your car when you return to it, or people sitting in another vehicle seeming to be watching you. Take extra care when you back out and, of course, if anything does happen, never admit responsibility -- just exchange details. Always get the other Policy number!  This is not on any information exchange form used by the police and one of the most important items needed when turning in a claim on another persons policy.

I have heard of other tricksters, leaving money on your windshield or on the ground outside your car and when you go to get it they steal your car or worse injure you and then steal your car.  Always be aware of your surroundings, and be careful not to fall for any of these tactics.

Also, report the incident to the police, no matter how apparently minor, making it clear to the other party that you will do so. But don't get aggressive or argue with them.  

NY DMV also says if your vehicle is involved in an auto accident and more than $1000 worth of damage occurs - even if a police report is filled out you must report it to them directly.

And if you have any concerns about your insurance protection for these circumstances, feel free to contact us.

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