TL;DR “Insurance Company” claims that my car was involved in a fatal hit and run. Police corroborate that it was not. To whom do I report this fraud?
The long version: Recently I received a message from an Insurance Company “X”, stating that they were calling with regards to incident with my car, and could I please return the call. I did so. They proceed to tell me that my car was involved in a red light hit and run in May in a neighboring city and that witnesses had provided my license plate number. I proceed to ask questions like, “How do you know it was my car?” “What color car was involved?” “Where did this happen?” The “agent” was vague. I should explain that I am recovering from a disability and on the date in question my car was not in that city, because I could not drive 40 miles to get there.
After hanging up, I called him back again and asked more questions, like “What is the case number?” “Which police agency responded to the accident, the city police or the Highway Patrol?” He claimed there was no case number, because the police were still investigating. (What?!) I kept pushing, and he said something like, “I don’t know why you’re getting so snappy.” He went on to say, “I can’t give you the details because the witness is dead. It was a fatal hit and run.” (Never mind that he had supposedly tracked me down because “witnesses”.) He said “fatal” and I said, “I’ll call the police myself”, which I did.
The police were very nice. No fatal hit and run. No warrants on the car. It’s a scam. I assume that I would have been pressured for money had I not asked so many questions and then gone to the police.
Today I find that I have gotten a letter from these fine folks asking me to contact them, sent prior to my phone calls.
My question is: where do I report this? The local police said it didn’t really fall under their jurisdiction. Would it be State Insurance Board? USPS? BBB? State Attorney General? I’m just so angry that someone can run around accusing people of murder to scare them into paying money. Isn’t that blackmail or extortion?
Call your state Commissioner of Insurance. Each state has one. They won’t particularly care about the accident but they might care about someone representing themselves as an insurance carrier when they’re not.
Second, contact your local police. If the letter came from out of state it’ll fall under the jurisdiction of the FBI possibly - if they’re interested - as an interstate crime.
In the end, it’s a criminal complaint of attempted fraud. State with the police.
Phone some responsible representative of the insurance company in question, at their national headquarters. They wiil have an interest in pursuing anyone who is falsely claiming to represent them. Nobody else cares.
If no such company exists, you’re just being scammed, and nobody REALLY cares, least of all, any law enforcement agency.
True. Back in the stone age I was on a mailing list for an auto insurance fraud newsletter, and it was filled with fascinating stories of scams large and small.
An awful lot of them revolved around the fact that cars are in fact quite difficult to burn, despite all the tee-vee and film portrayals of them being rolling FA bombs. Nice pix of the accelerant trails across the upholstery, many times.
We weren’t being serious. But a lot of people won’t file insurance claims because rates do go up if you actually use your insurance. I’ve heard the actuarial explanation, or whatever it’s called, and there’s a series of commercials now for a company that says your rates won’t go up for the first accident, but it kind of sucks knowing for years and years you pay your premiums, never need to file a claim, and finally someone hits your car and your rates go up because you collect the money you had paid for all those years. I could buy a Ferrari and have cash left over if I had back all I’ve paid in car insurance premiums for around 40 years, and never once filed a claim.
I would think a serious question deserved a serious answer. But in any case, it sounds like the OP wouldn’t. in fact, be making an insurance claim, but instead asking the insurance company to pursue a fraud investigation.
I was trying to respect the Board policy about not involving them in possible legal action, hence the vague. I will ask the Mods if I can share.
My first thought was that the police would have been on my doorstep that day!
I’ll name the city where it “happened”, San Jose, CA. I was on the phone with the SJPD for quite a while. It “happened” on a city street, no cross street given of course, but they didn’t need that info to make a thorough check. In fact, they checked all incidents for the entire day in the city. There was no such incident. Complete and utter bullshit. Since I don’t live in the city, and since they didn’t know where the insurance company actually was, they wouldn’t take the complaint.
I’ll start with the State Insurance Commissioner. I hadn’t thought of contacting my insurance agent. He might know where to go next.
You should just hand this whole mess over to your insurance agent. This is their responsibility. Any losses that may come to you as asserted by this other insurance company, would be covered by your insurance company. They need to assert their defenses against making a claim under your policy.
You keep thinking of this as a “scam” because you weren’t where they say you were. But essentially they are making a monetary claim against you. This is what your insurance is supposed to handle.
Quit worrying about getting the insurance commission to investigate, and let the professionals handle the business.
Without naming it, is the company name given that of a real insurance company (i.e., one whose name comes up in a Google search)? And did they get as far as the demand for money? Because the scammers who claim to be from the IRS seem to demand that the victim obtain a prepaid cash card and provide the number over the phone (so nothing needs to be sent by mail).
It’s a little weird that these people actually sent a letter through the mail and claimed to be an insurance company.