Ever since people have been around, there have been people trying to fraud others to make a quick buck. As insurance companies gained popularity and became more and more common, people started to find ways to scam them to get a quick payout.
Life insurance fraud is all too common from movies – as is the classic arson fraud, where someone deliberately sets fire to their house or business and claims insurance money.
Since drivers in most are legally mandated to have insurance, there has been no shortage of creativity as far as auto insurance fraud goes! Sometimes, the insurance companies themselves take the hit(pun intended), but other times, innocent 3d parties can see their premiums unnecessarily rise, too.
Crashing Cars Into One Another
A group of 33 people from San Jose have been convicted of a massive car insurance scam where they purposefully crashed older cars into one another and claimed insurance money. To stage the crash, the scammers usually claimed that they crashed because they lost control of their vehicles after spilling hot coffee on themselves.
This earned the investigation an apt nickname of “Coffee break”.
Blaming a thief for their own mistake
A New Jersey man plead guilty to insurance fraud after filing a claim for damages done to his vehicle after it was stolen – only the damage was done a few days before he reported his car stolen!
He claimed over $13,000 in damages that he said occurred during 5 days when his car was missing, including a $1700 watch and $1000 earrings.
Getting insurance after crashing
San Diego county police arrested over 30 individuals involved in an auto insurance scam that netted nearly $1 million across the state. In these cases, people would crash their cars, and then immediately call the insurance company and sign up for coverage, then call later in the day and claim their crash. They would also ask family members to sign them up right after crashing.
Spoofing an address for lower rates
A Massachusetts woman from Taiwan ran an ad in an Asian newspaper for lower insurance rates – the respondents, who were from the metro NYC area signed up through her for insurance using false addresses in Western Massachusetts. New York City, being a large metro, has higher insurance premiums than other more suburban areas. The scheme is estimated to have cost insurance companies over $100,000.
Jumping onto an incoming car and bashing your head
A South Korean man attemped insurance fraud by running towards a moving car, jumping onto the bonnet and bashing his head on the windshield, cracking it. The car driver was fortunate enough to have a dashboard camera which caught the incident, and he posted the video on YouTube, asserting that the individual was a scammer. Car insurance fraud is one thing, but nearly killing yourself for a quick buck is something else. See the video here:
Claiming money for an accident you weren’t in
A Pennsylvania woman claimed she suffered neck and back injuries from a two-person car crash. After rear ending another car, the driver called Progressive Insurance and told them that the woman was a passenger in her car. The woman later called Progressive and made her claim. It was later discovered that the woman wasn’t even in the car when the accident happened, after the driver admitted to it. The woman is serving a jail sentence for insurance fraud.
It’s amazing how quickly stories fall apart when people are building a house of lies!
Bribing your students to torch your car
A Houston teacher got very tired of making payments on her Chevy Malibu, so she offered two failing students to torch her car in exchange for higher grades. This way she could collect the insurance money. She was fired, of course, and served a 90 day jail sentence.
Purposely crashing a Bimmer into a truck
Seven Georgia residents were charged with insurance fraud after crashing a 1998 BMW into a rented U-Haul truck. The police got a confession out of one of the suspects which led to the arrest of all the perpetrators. The claim cost insurance companies $8000 in damages.
$8000 seems like a very small sum to go through all the trouble of crashing a BMW into a rented truck for, and risking jailtime, too!
Claiming accidents that never happened
A man from Singapore was arrested after claiming nearly S$465,000(yikes!) on over 30 accidents that never happened. He and his conspirators would file false claims, sometimes filing multiple claims with different companies, all for the same fake car crash!
Whether the conspirators purposely filed claims for the same car or whether it was a major oversight on their part remains to be debated.
Husband rats out wife’s false claim
A Minnesota woman got into an accident with another woman at an intersection – both women claimed that they had a green light, and there were no witnesses to verify either one’s claim. A few months later, one man came forward, saying he had been in the car behind hers and the light was in fact green, and he had never met the woman before. The insurance company settled with a $90,000 payout, and everything was peachy, until the woman’s husband came forth and said the woman and the man used to play darts in the same league!
Purposely? crashing a Bugatti
A Texas man faces up to 20 years in prison after buying a $1 million Bugatti, taking out $2.2 million insurance on it, and claiming that he swerved into a body of water while reaching for his cellphone. The saltwater permanently damaged the engine. An eyewitness video let investigators observe discrepancies in the man’s account with the video, and the rest, as they say, is history.
See the video here:
Mistakenly admitting you are a fraud
A Manitoba man had filed an insurance auto theft claim, but since he had filed a very similar claim three years before, he was called in for an investigation. During the investigation, the man mistakenly blurted out that the earlier claim was completely bogus, but this new one was legit!
Loose lips, indeed – criminal honesty doesn’t always work out for the best!