By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale July 23rd

"I'm calling about your accident" - how does this scam work?

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Robin Graham28/07/2019 01:31:44
577 forum posts
126 photos

I had a call on my mobile today - my wife fielded it and I heard her saying things like 'which accident was that' [have you had more than one accident then? was the response] ' I am a bit accident prone actually' she went on. She carried on chattily for maybe 4 minutes in naive woman with ill-defined grievances mode, then the caller put the phone down.

Just curious - does anyone know how this works? It must be a scam of some sort.

Robin.

ronan walsh28/07/2019 02:43:54
539 forum posts
32 photos

Is it one of these reverse the call charges scams ? The longer you keep chatting the more you pay ?

pgk pgk28/07/2019 05:27:25
1425 forum posts
278 photos

I thought reverse charge scam required one to be conned into pressing a button to accept it?

A calling about accident scam could work in several ways;

1 possibly being directed to press a button for some spurious extension.

2 being directed to a malicious website

3 being asked for personal details or a deposit for the matter to be taken forwards, bank accout details for your compensation

4 semi-genuine as in fishing for easy-win accident cases and then selling the info on to half-way reputable legal firms for a finders fee

pgk

Stephen Spindler28/07/2019 08:04:35
3 forum posts

I find that as soon as you ask them to tell you your name they hang up straight away.

SillyOldDuffer28/07/2019 08:56:59
4592 forum posts
980 photos

I prefer not to find out by talking to them, but this one - I think - is 'ambulance chasers'. They are looking for new clients.

Plenty of adverts on TV for 'Did you have an accident at work?' or 'Have you had an accident that wasn't your fault?'. Claims management companies take a percentage off any successful claim. A percentage of what they do is legitimate: good for the sort of casual worker who falls off a ladder and doesn't realise he may have a valid claim against his employer. At the other end of they scale they encourage people with dubious or dishonest reasons to make weak or unfounded claims. As the cost of fighting these is significant, the target may settle rather than run up costs with the risk of losing a court case. Quite well known that criminals fake or deliberately cause accidents in order to make claims, and Claims management is a good way in.

It isn't victimless. Most settlements are made by Insurance Companies who pass on the cost to you and I by increasing our premiums. Another major victim is the taxpayer, as when the NHS is maliciously sued, or the Local Council when someone alleges they tripped on a badly set kerb-stone. My perception is that the governing bodies of the professional enablers who make the dodgy end of this possible - solicitors, lawyers, and doctors - are not enthusiastic to act against shady members.

Try telling the caller you've just had a serious accident, it was all your fault, and that a couple of children will be in wheelchairs for the rest of their lives. As there's no money in that for ambulance chasers they won't be seen for dust!

Another possibility is you admit to having had a bump in a car-park and they tell you the other party has sold them the debt and they'll let you off the hook if you pay £150 immediately by credit-card.   This sort of con works when - by coincidence - a call is already expected and you jump to the conclusion that it's genuine.

Dave

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 28/07/2019 09:02:43

Mike Poole28/07/2019 08:58:49
avatar
2041 forum posts
47 photos

I just asked them if that was the one my wife and children were killed in, it went a bit quiet at the other end, I let him off the hook after a few moment of sweat.

Mike

John Haine28/07/2019 13:27:13
2591 forum posts
133 photos

I did have a very minor accident where someone ran into the back of my car very very slowly and caused rather monor damage which I nevertheless had fixed on their insurance as the car was nearly new. For years thereafter I had "claims managers" contacting me to see if I wanted to pursue a claim for personal injury. It seems that LV Insurance who was the original insurer passes on details to these companies which I think is completely unethical. Anyway I once engaged the caller in quite a long conversation to get him to explain what needed to happen. I said that there was no injury, but he went on to say things like are you sure? Any unexplained backpain etc? and on and on. Eventually I said to him "so, are you basically saying that I should lie so that you can make a buck on a possible payout?" At this point he rang off!

ronan walsh28/07/2019 13:54:16
539 forum posts
32 photos

I remember see an american advert for an ambulance chasing firm of lawyers, many years ago, and thinking how appalling it was. Someone said to me it would be like that here in years to come, and low and behold, it is. No morals or ethics. Same with this "ppi" rubbish.

Bazyle28/07/2019 14:06:55
avatar
4681 forum posts
186 photos

If you give the right answers you can get put through to an actual lawyer, or at least an intern and waste their time instead. angel

Zan28/07/2019 14:09:03
98 forum posts
2 photos

Two strategies

1) always have the answer phone on. Usually when the dealer information says international ( 07xxx 0000000 the other day) or even spurious uk numbers hear the welcome message “ Hello we are not at home......” usually only gets as far as hello we..... all our friends know to shout up and we answer.

2) for the Microsoft problem. I act as an old old duffer. ( sorry silly old duffer!) him.... please turn your computer on...... rest is my replies..... how do I do that.....it’s my sons computer, he doesn’t like me playing with it.......he’s a financial adviser and his clients information is on it...... how do I click it?..... I don’t use computers but you say it’s a big problem..... after 20 mins I change voice. ....how dare you pester my farther he’s 88 and has dimentia go away.....

all good fun if you have the time. Usually with the phone tucked into my shoulder when in the workshop

they don’t call back

JA28/07/2019 14:52:57
773 forum posts
44 photos

I like to string them along. Some time ago I gave my name as Michael Mouse. A lot of the "scammers" who phone now want to speak to Michael.

Surely Micky Mouse is global (perhaps not in North Korea) and any one with a grain of sense or education would realise it is probably a fake name.

SillyOldDuffer28/07/2019 14:54:30
4592 forum posts
980 photos
Posted by John Haine on 28/07/2019 13:27:13:

I did have a very minor accident where someone ran into the back of my car very very slowly and caused rather monor damage which I nevertheless had fixed on their insurance as the car was nearly new. For years thereafter I had "claims managers" contacting me to see if I wanted to pursue a claim for personal injury. It seems that LV Insurance who was the original insurer passes on details to these companies which I think is completely unethical. Anyway I once engaged the caller in quite a long conversation to get him to explain what needed to happen. I said that there was no injury, but he went on to say things like are you sure? Any unexplained backpain etc? and on and on. Eventually I said to him "so, are you basically saying that I should lie so that you can make a buck on a possible payout?" At this point he rang off!

And a proportion of people rung up are tempted by the possibility of a freebie and suddenly develop symptoms. 3 months after my daughter ran gently into another car (causing no damage to her car, or to the other one) she received a solicitors letter from a firm specialising in accidents listing the whiplash symptoms their client was suffering. Unlikely, but I suppose it might have been genuine. What convinced me a scam was in progress was in due course a doctors report arrived confirming the injuries, and the report contained exactly the same list. It had been cut and pasted from the solicitor's letter. Either the doctor was lazy or he and the solicitor were colluding...

By the way beware of having minor damage fixed on the other guy's insurance. The problem is making any kind of claim will put your costs up too! It's because people who have been in one accident are more likely to be in another. So they stick a few percent on your premium to cover the risk, and that becomes the baseline for future quotes. Changing insurer doesn't help because they share accident data. Another factor likely to quietly push quotes up is fibbing or being suspected of fibbing. If you make a damage claim make sure it's worth it (my guess at least £200) and get your story right first time.

Crook phone calls are one thing, but I suspect most of us are caught more often by legitimate businesses relying on us not keeping up-to-date. For example older drivers with protected No Claims Bonus are likely wasting their money because NCB is aimed at encouraging wild young drivers to take more care. Factors other than NCB have more influence on the cost of insuring older drivers. Lower annual mileages after retirement might be expected to cost less on insurance because the risks are reduced. Unfortunately reduced miles also signal a driver not getting enough practice who might to be caught out by unexpected new road layouts etc. when he next drives into town. As insurance is based on statistical risk, arguing against this unfairness on the basis of personal capabilities and circumstances don't cut much ice. Being in the age group that has cataracts and strokes is more relevant to Insurers than your 60 years of accident free motoring! Don't despair though, as older drivers have low-accident rates, our premiums tend to be smaller and there's not much to milk off the top. Young men of twenty can pay thousands to insure a car.

A big one to watch is Pensions. Most people never check. Although infuriated by obvious minor cons like daft phone calls, I guess most of us be might cheerfully be paying a multitude of excessive admin fees and charges costing many thousands because we can't be doing with the hassle of finding out. Small-print and obscure wording are just as bad as any other scam and are often much more effective.

Dave

Andrew Evans28/07/2019 15:04:47
249 forum posts
1 photos

It's not a scam as such - it's very intrusive and unpleasant advertising for legitimate law businesses (an oxymoron I know). It's just relying on a tiny percentage of people who have had an accident and want to make a claim. The company then get the business and make money as part of any settlement. It clearly a good business model or they wouldn't bother.

John Haine28/07/2019 16:06:25
2591 forum posts
133 photos

By the way beware of having minor damage fixed on the other guy's insurance. The problem is making any kind of claim will put your costs up too! It's because people who have been in one accident are more likely to be in another. So they stick a few percent on your premium to cover the risk, and that becomes the baseline for future quotes. Changing insurer doesn't help because they share accident data. Another factor likely to quietly push quotes up is fibbing or being suspected of fibbing. If you make a damage claim make sure it's worth it (my guess at least £200) and get your story right first time.

In my case it was a new rear bumper assembly for a Mini - cost was much more than I was going to pay myself.

roy entwistle28/07/2019 17:00:44
1021 forum posts

Dave ( Silly old duffer ) I don't know about older drivers not paying higher insurance premiums.

I am 85 my premium for a Vauxhall 1.4 Corsa this year was nearly £400 dearer than last year. I went on Go-Compare and got a £100 lower quote from the same company. On querying this I was asked to hang on after 3 or 4 minutes the girl came back to me and aid she couldn't find the quote on Go Compare. I rang off and checked Go compare again and sure enough the quote had gone , in fact the company had no quotes at all. I changed to the next lower quote from a different company. It looks like I will probably be changing companies every year from now on.

Roy

Edited By roy entwistle on 28/07/2019 17:18:56

Nigel Graham 228/07/2019 18:38:20
357 forum posts

A lot of the ambulance-chasing firms in, or working in, the UK went out of business. These were agencies working for real solicitors, and it was lucrative until two things happened. Firstly, enough people had realised the trap. Secondly, so many cases were thrown out, unsettled, as spurious without ever reaching court that the spivs were losing a lot of money.

'

I have had the occasional fictional-accident phone call, but soon threw them out. I can't remember how. I think I just said, " You are lying! "

'

Once had an Indian-sounding gentleman telephone to try to sell me a phones contract for only £8 a month. That's god value I replied, seeing as I pay only about £5 / month at most, on PAYG. Nothing daunted, after a few minutes he excused himself and a few moments later a young lady came on the phone in his place.

Aha, the charm offensive, eh? Chat up my wallet as well as me? I soon led her off-script and enjoyed about half an hour's general conversation at her employer's expense with no mention of phones at all..

A week or so later, ' Angel ' as she'd introduced herself, rang again. Nearing the end of another conversation about owt, but nowt about telephones, I warned her to be careful. I did not want her losing her job by this. The company did seem to be genuine.

Angel rang one more, a week or two later again. Again I warned her to be careful, and indeed it was the last call I had from her so I do hope they'd not found out and dismissed her.

'

Some of the fraudsters have developed a new trick, though so far only for the termination of Internet service scam. The message telling you this, and which 'phone button to press, is recorded. It's easy to verify by speaking to it. A human would respond instinctively; a recording carries on regardless even when you call it a liar, or use the sort of language that means your workshop floor has swallowed that delicate item you took an hour to make.

R Johns28/07/2019 22:03:57
19 forum posts

The best one of these I had began with the statement that "our records tend to show that you may have been involved in a qualifying accident".

Robin Graham28/07/2019 22:47:54
577 forum posts
126 photos

Thanks for replies - sounds like it isn't a scam as such then, just ambulance chasing without an ambulance. It did occur to me that there might be some people who by pure coincidence had suffered a recent accident and would engage with the caller. What are the chances though? Too low to make it viable I thought, but maybe not - as Dave pointed out there are TV ads along the same lines and I guess one can make a lot of phone calls for the cost of an ad.

We've had the termination of internet call too Nigel - wife responded with "What cr?p, just f*k off" (she'd had a bad day) but the caller didn't break stride...

Robin

Perko729/07/2019 00:59:25
278 forum posts
23 photos

In Australia we've also had a flurry of the 'we are calling about your recent car accident' calls interspersed with calls from Telecom saying 'we are receiving error messages from your computer internet connection' and a smattering of solar power and cheaper electricity offers. My general response to the first is to tell them they have been misinformed. I used to string them along with the 'which accident was that, I've had so many recently' line but can't be bothered now. The internet ones I usually respond by saying something along the lines of 'well my computer and internet connection seem to be working fine, so since you are my internet provider the problem must be with your equipment!' That usually shuts them up. The others I just tell them I'm not interested and to take me off their call list and that I have recorded their details and if I receive any future calls I'll report them to the Ombudsman. I don't seem to get as many now as I used to.

Robert Atkinson 229/07/2019 07:36:17
avatar
344 forum posts
21 photos

Typically they are fishing for you to make a personal injury claim, either genuine (you hadn't bothered), exaggerated or plain false. A number of UK police forces got told off a few years ago for providing accident data to this sort of company. They may also be fishing for details to make a fraudulent claim.
SWMBO say the other side of this a few years ago. She scraped the side of a parked car while avoiding a speeding "white van" overtaking a cyclist in a narrow street. No one around so took details of car. and photos (I came out to make sure she was OK), left a note, called the police and our insurers. Owner rang to thank us for leaving note (he had been hit before judging by the two other colours of paint transfer. Insurance paid for both cars to be repaired, all done. Over a year later she got a call form "the insurance company" about the accident, thought it was a scam so told them to write to her. Letter arrived saying that as we had admitted liability for the accident they were going to pay the injury claim. No real references. So called them and it turns out a personal injury claim had been made for her hitting a empty car. Rightly they would not provide details but we stated categorically that there was no one in the car, sent photos (from two phones) and the police reference number. A few weeks later we got a letter saying they had questioned the claim and the claimants solicitor had withdrawn the claim without comment. The insurance company thanked us for our help. I don't know if it was the car owner or a third party who maid the claim of if any action was taken against them.

If we had not bothered to tell the insurance company they would have got away with it.

Robert G8RPI.

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric Engineering
ChesterUK
Advertise With Us
Ausee.com.au
TRANSWAVE Converters
Meridienne oct 2019
Warco
Eccentric July 5 2018
emcomachinetools
Allendale Electronics
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest