Scams that involve car insurance aren’t anything new. A new scam has been sweeping through west Los Angeles, though, as a pair of fraudsters are targeting senior citizens. Their brazen scheme involves staged accidents and car insurance fraud.
Police are currently on the lookout for the scam’s perpetrators. In the meantime, there is plenty you can do to protect yourself and help out the authorities with anything you might know.
Targeting Seniors in Parking Lots
This new scheme has been targeting senior citizens as they leave parking lots in Santa Monica. This definitely gives the scammers plenty of prey to choose from, as Santa Monica is known for being one of the busiest shopping locations in all of Los Angeles. It’s also one of the area’s more wealthy neighborhoods.
Information like this is definitely not lost on the insurance scammers, who are staging accidents in parking lots to extort money from unsuspecting victims. As NBC Los Angeles reports:
“They claim the victim hit their car and demand money from them, saying that the damage is less than their insurance deductible.”
So far there have been several reports of this scam being put into play around the Santa Monica shopping areas, so consumers are warned to be on the lookout.
A Truly Dastardly Duo
Reports coming from victims in the Santa Monica area indicate that this scheme is being executed by not one, but two holiday scammers. Undoubtedly, these two are taking advantage of the heavy consumer traffic that areas like downtown Santa Monica see during this time of year. People from all over the Los Angeles and Orange County areas come to places like Santa Monica to shop, ice skate, and see the sights.
Amid all the holiday cheer and rampant consumerism, though, two scammers are targeting senior citizens by insisting that they fork over handfuls of cash at the scene of a supposed accident. Of course, this is the kind of thing that immediately seems like a scam to most people, but it seems to have been working on shoppers who are undoubtedly a bit frazzled by all the holiday comings and goings.
How to Stay Safe and Avoid This Scam
Luckily for anyone reading this blog, the steps that will help you avoid falling victim to any kind of scam like this are incredibly simple. These fraudsters are insisting that shoppers hand over cash since the damage incurred in the supposed “accident” is less than the trickster’s insurance deductible.
Should anyone ever demand cash at the scene of an accident, it’s a good idea to call the police straight away. You have the option of calling the police any time you’re involved in an accident, simply so they can take a record of everything. If someone demands that you hand over cash after
claiming you hit their car, it’s smart to call the authorities. This will simply make sure that an impartial third party takes down all the pertinent information.
Got Any Tips?
Have you run into a scam like this? Do you have any tips or information that might help?
Not only do we always encourage that helpful information be shared in the comments, but the Santa Monica Police might be able to use your help when it comes to catching these two holiday crooks. If you know anything at all, you’re encouraged to get in touch with Detective Dean Hodges at (310) 458-8928.