Avoid Costly Towing Scams

Posted 8 years ago

Tow Truck Scams

Following an accident, it is sometimes necessary to have your car towed. While many towing companies are honest and reliable, there are a variety of scams that can cost you both time and money.

As a driver, there are several popular towing scams that you should be aware of, including the following:

  • Scanning. This refers to when a towing firm monitors police scanners and shows up at accident scenes unannounced. The towing company will then try to convince drivers to get towed to a body shop, even if it’s unnecessary.
  • Inflated fees. Tow truck companies will sometimes increase fees beyond auto policy limits. In some cases, they will add expensive and unnecessary fees, like gate, labour and release fees, to drive up prices.
  • Added damage. In extreme cases, certain body shops give tow truck drivers a commission for bring them business. These body shops will then hold cars for extended periods of time to drive up prices, even purposely damaging vehicles to increase repair costs.

To avoid these scams, it’s important to be armed with prevention tips. For instance, never utilize a tow truck that shows up at a scene unannounced. Research body shops ahead of time, using only the most trustworthy. You should request a printed price list of transportation and storage fees from a towing company before committing to the service.


Safety First

Many scammers will ask you for your personal information. In some cases, body shops and tow truck drivers will use this information to further their scam. To avoid these issues, be wary of giving out too much personal or insurance-related information. Lastly, if you suspect fraud or if the tow truck driver refuses to leave the scene of the accident, don’t hesitate to call the authorities for assistance.

Check out CBC’s Marketplace episode where they went undercover.

Posted in Business Insurance, Personal Insurance |

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