Car crash scam targets vulnerable Aussies
BEING involved in a car crash, whether it's a minor prang or something more serious, is never a situation someone wants to find themselves in.
And it's not just insurance and a damaged car Aussies have to worry about, they've also been warned to be on alert for potential scammers.
It's a scam that has been around for a while but warnings have recently been sent out to motorists, particularly those in Queensland.
How it works is the victim will receive a phone call from a number they don't recognise and when they answer the scammer will pretend to be from a legitimate organisation, such as an insurance company or government agency.
They will ask to speak to "the person involved in the car accident", claiming they are calling to help them gain compensation for their injuries.
In order to increase the chances of calling someone who has been in a car accident they may claim the incident they are referring to is historic and could have happened a few years ago.
This allows the scammer access to even more potential victims.
The scammer will then name a dollar amount that the victim is supposedly entitled to, saying they just need some personal details to confirm the claim and send the money through.
Once the person hands over their details the scammer will often end the call quickly and will go on to tell the personal details they obtained for money.
If the victim tries to call back the phone number will often be disconnected or redirected to a random number.
According to the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) one in three Queenslanders have been targeted by these unwanted phone calls and aggressive tactics.
Scammers tend to target vulnerable residents, like children or the elderly who can be tricked or bullied into giving over valuable information.
MAIC insurance commissioner Neil Singleton warned people to be aware that reports of this scam are coming through across the state.
"We're getting the word out to protect Queenslanders from car crash scammers," Mr Singleton said.
"Our advice is to be wary of help after a crash. Remember that a legitimate organisation won't harass you or try to breach your privacy.
"If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Hang up and report them to us."
If you receive a call from someone asking for your details and claiming to be from an official organisation, the best thing to is hang up and find the company's official number and call them back.
Another way to identify a potential scammer is if there is a delay when you answer the phone and you can hear a lot of background noise.
Scammers can also get pushy or aggressive if the call isn't going the way they want it to.
The best way to deal with this type of call is to hang up and report it.
A number of social media users have recently been targeted by these calls.
"It's a dodgy scam. We get calls all day everyday at work and also about 6-8 months ago now they have started again last week," one person claimed.
"Had these scum bags ring talking about my car accident how money was owed to me blah blah blah. Told them it was my daughter driving, Funny thing is I don't have a daughter," another user said.
"Told them to send the cheque in the mail. Because they claimed they had all my details I didn't give them my address. Funny no cheque arrived."