Des Plaines, Illinois -- May 23, 2014 -- Recognizing a staged collision can be tough, especially if youâ€™re not familiar with some of the more common techniques used by crooks. In cooperation with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the U.S.-based National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has produced new high definition videos showing some of the most common methods of staging motor vehicle accidents to defraud insurance companies.
"Staged or deliberately caused accidents continue to be a problem across the country," said Joe Wehrle, NICB president and CEO. "We appreciate the opportunity to work with the LAPD to make the public aware of these schemes and to let them know what to look for."
Staged accidents are usually conducted by organized groups that target drivers and vehicles that are likely to be insured. The organizers frequently recruit participants who receive a cash payment to join in the scheme and to claim they were injured in the crash. The organizers then have the medical providers who are in on the scheme bill the auto insurance companies for medical treatments that may be unnecessary and which may or may not be completed.
"These staged accidents are not only illegal and costly, but they also present a real danger to innocent drivers and to those recruited to participate," said Wehrle. "And without knowing what to look for, the innocent victims may not realize they were targeted. These videos help insurers, law enforcement and the driving public spot some of the most common types of staged accidents and may help them put a stop to the scheme before the criminals collect the cash."
The videos were produced at the LAPD's Emergency Vehicle Operations Center in Granada Hills, where officers receive specialized driver training.
Four new videos are available, highlighting some of the more common staged collision scenarios. You can see them in the players below.
Curb Drive Down
Four Vehicles Fraud
Swoop and Squat
Left Lane Fraud