Posing As Adjusters is Latest Scam to Hit FLInsurance Fraud — By Trace America on August 2, 2012 at 2:38 PM
Investigators at Palm Beach County Consumer Affairs say there is a new scam surfacing in South Florida. It involves body shop workers who pose as insurance adjustors and persuade crash victims to have their un-repairable cars towed and checked out.
According to WPTV News, it most recently happened to Ira Robinson, who is now driving a brand new Chrysler 200 convertible. However, he notes that this new car doesn’t compare to the one he recently lost.
“I was a little befuddled at first. I was hit and fortunately I had my seat belt on,” said Robinson.
Even though he didn’t actually need his car towed, he also didn’t know what to do while he was standing in front of his freshly wrecked vehicle. That’s when Robinson says a man named “Vince” showed up out of the blue.
“He said we could fix the car up. I’ll help you with the deductible, so forth which at that time I thought maybe I could save some money,” said Robinson.
What Robinson failed to realize however when he signed a vehicle release form to have his car towed to a collision shop, was that he would get a bill with charges that would add up to more than $1,600.
Eugene Reavis, an investigator at Palm Beach County Consumer Affairs notes, “They’ve been called ambulance chasers and wreck chasers.” In this case, he says, the man helping Robinson was posing as an insurance adjuster.
And, according to Reavis and an arrest report from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, that man is Vincenzo Gurrera, who is now facing four different charges.
Due to the fact that the county regulates tow shops and not body shops, Robinson’s signature on that vehicle release form left his wallet completely vulnerable.
Reavis stated, “Somebody has to pay the fees and a lot of times consumers may not know, they may end up paying the bills themselves.” He adds that if it’s the insurance company that pays for these scams then that drives the insurance rates sky-high.
As sad as it is that this scam was pulled, it isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last.
Consumer Affairs said it is seeing more and more of these incidents, where body shops are praying on unsuspecting crash victims.
Reavis says the best defense against these scams are for drivers to call their insurance companies before they sign anything so they can to make sure the person they are dealing with is genuine.
This post is authored by Trace America.