How To Deal Against False Car Insurance Claims
TAKE NOTE: FIRST TIME CAR OWNERS
For first time car owners or even greenhorns who have just recently purchased their very first car/intend to, aside from your seasonal parking fees and other costs that comes along, it is mandatory to get a motor car insurance to keep safeguard yourself. But if one allows greed to take over and get the best of you, people are often blinded by the consequences and the messy aftermath they have to deal with. Sure it might seems relatively easy to orchestrate an accident and submit false claims, but these insurers aren’t that gullible to fall for a dubious car insurance fraud.
A false car claim scam is an act of duping the insurers into making payouts for property or personal injury damages which transpired as a result of the fraudulent traffic accident that took place. But time and time again, the fraudulent acts that these syndicates have staged would often be exposed by the police or the insurance companies through the course of investigation and fact-finding.
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THE PERFECT, FOOLPROOF FRAUD
Dated back in the late 2015, Rahmat Mohd, who was 37 year old back then was involved in a motor car insurance fraud which amounted to a whooping S$1.1 million worth of submitted claims. In this particular scam, Rahmat confessed to 25 charges where he conspired and assembled fake drivers and phantom passengers to swindle various insurance companies. He assisted a total of 44 property damage and 70 personal injury claims that were submitted to their respective insurers, bringing the grand total to S$1,137,318.40, claims which simply just doesn’t add up. Part of this million dollar false claim (S$215,678.25) has been successfully been paid out by insurance companies which fell victim to Rahmat’s scam.
Giving more context into this case, Rahmat was being instructed by a mastermind to gather vehicles from several car owners, driving them to secluded places where he would staged these fake accidents and deliberately damage the vehicles. Gullible car owners that were often blinded by greed were promised high success rate through their false claims and for every successful claim which was abetted by Rahmat, they would have to pay him a cut of $200 after submitting an Singapore Accident Statement to their respective insurers to file for claims.
After intentionally damaging the vehicles, Rahmat would then bring these damaged cars to a car repair workshop in Bukit Merah where Sollihin, who is purportedly the mastermind behind this whole movement to have the vehicles repaired, after which, inflating and over exaggerating the claims which were to be submitted to the insurers.
Above would be the typical way of how staged or engineered accidents transpired. A staged accident would typically be pre-arranged beforehand by a group of drivers where the first car would jam his/her brakes deliberately, where the rest of the other vehicles has to tailgate closely, triggering a domino effect and causing a chain collision to eventuate. This staged accident is somewhat more trickier to deal with as the legitimacy of the accident is questionable if it happens at a busy highway.
An engineered accident on the other hand, would be much easier to uncover as cars are being brought to a quiet and secluded area where these phantom drivers would intentionally damage them.
Like any other organized heists, these tricksters would always have a well-thought-out plan in place where they would cover their tracks and align their frauds with lawful guidelines to ensure that their perfect plot would not be thwart, making it tougher to expose them. These fake drivers and passengers that were recruited went as far as to acquiring medical certificates for their alleged injuries and filed false police reports to further substantiate their claims and them being involved in this accident.
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These are some of the ways as to how these mobs will trick you into collaborating with them in this foolproof conspiracy of theirs.
The first scenario would take place in a car repair shop where you would always send your cars for servicing. Some servicing may take up to days or weeks depending on the complexity of the repair. During this period when cars are left unattended, a dummy driver would “borrow” your car and deliberately damage it in a traffic accident, following which, you would be asked to submit a fraudulent claim under your name where you would be able to have all damages repair and receive a surplus payout from your insurers, where you have to tip part of that claim to them.
The second plot is where most car owners would be tricked into even by their own peers where it is a common thing between friends to borrow cars from to feign an accident, subsequently, insisting or asserting that they do not possess a driving license at all. The original car owner would then have to file a claim under his name since it is illegal to drive on the road without a valid driving license.
The last method of falsifying an alleged car claim, and is still prevalent till this date is where family members who are working for this organized group, with some already having made successful claims before further promoting this crime to take place recruit their own family. By being a phantom passenger or driver, they will also get a cut from the claim made. Phantom drivers are usually being paid around $500 and for every phantom passenger an extra $200 each.
HOW TO DEAL AGAINST FALSE CAR CLAIMS
Car owners, car repair shops, and even family members, most of the time are the primary targets that are prone to this illegal activity. The trust that people have towards word-of-mouth, the credibility a family member has, and how foolproof this plan is would make this a very tempting deal. But the sad thing is that people actually think that this con scheme of cheating an insurance company would work out and they will be able to receive easy money. The maximum penalty under section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating and frauds is 10 years of jail time and a fine imposed. Even those who help make this master plan work are no exception.
“A lot of times they think that they don’t have the intention to cheat, so they won’t be charged for cheating,” DSP Sim said. “But the issue is what they do actually facilitates the other person to cheat the insurer.”(ChannelNewsAsia)
PROTECT & SAFEGUARD YOURSELF
Here are some useful tips where you can put to good use whenever an accident were to occur or if you feel that you are somehow being dragged into a false car claim scam you would not want to be part of.
- First and foremost, you need to exchange essential details such as the drivers full name, contact number, NRIC, car plate number, and his.her insurance company
- Ask for basic details such as names and contact information from witnesses (if any)
- Besides spamming away on photos, you should also angle the picture so that it can better help your explanation when needed
- Its is ideal to install a car camera with basic functions to record the surroundings of your car so that documented evidence can be furnished to safeguard yourself
- Call your insurance company 24-hours hotline or the tow truck company that is designated to you if you do not know how to handle the given situation
- If there is anybody physically injured or if a traffic accident were to transpire, notify the police and the traffic police immediately and transport your damaged vehicle to an approved or authorised car workshop within 24 hours or by the next working day
- Motor and car owners are strongly advised to steer away from these syndicates, unauthorised tow-truck drivers, or car repair shops if these type of shady services were to be offered
- Do not accept help too easily from external or third party sources if they were to sound dodgy or suspicious, if your car insurance does not include car towing services, simply drop a call over to (EMAS) Expressway Monitoring and Advisory System to assist you further.