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Beware the farmers of insurance misery

17/05/2024 by Mark Schneider in Industry news

It was shortly after my second phone scam attempt within ten minutes that I came to realise that this scamming lark must be a very big business. Whether it’s email promising that you’ve won it big; Gumtree replies from desert islands/drilling rigs/army bases buying your car/caravan/swimming pool for their wife at home; or phishing attempts, scammers are everywhere.

It's costing the global economy over a $trillion annually, according to some estimates. While many scams originate from Nigeria, India, China, Brazil and Pakistan, rather too many Australians are more than willing to rip off their fellow Aussies, too.

Insurance scam

One of the nasty scams doing the rounds at the moment is “insurance claim farming”. There are a few variations on the theme, and one of them came to light recently on an ABC story from WA.

Perth woman Annette had a very minor accident in her car and reported it to what she thought was her insurance company. Only it wasn’t her insurance company, and to cut a long, painful story short, the “insurance claim management company” she’d really been dealing with had towed her car away and effectively impounded it, demanding she pay up to get it back.

Well, it was hardly a happy ending, but the insurer, to its great credit, paid what was effectively a $6,800 ransom to release Annette’s car, and will now pursue the scammers through the courts to get their money back.

So how can that be legal, you ask? Well, it’s on the black side of grey right now, and state governments are starting to crack down on the practice. The Insurance Council of Australia is also working to stop misleading ads appearing in Google’s search results. Legal or not, it’s a thoroughly dishonest practice, and a scam that’s easily avoided with a cool head and some diligence, if you’ve had an accident.

Be careful

The message is to ensure that the people you’re contacting are from your insurance company. If you’re checking online, note the internet address, because many scammers go to great lengths to fool the unwary, and many of these scammers are using insurance companies’ logos to make them look legitimate. But to be absolutely sure, always ring the number that’s on the paperwork from your insurance company.

The easy way to avoid scammers and all that insurance hassle is with Fleetcare’s Insurance Management, which we’re pleased to offer you with your Fleetcare novated lease. When you insure through Fleetcare you’ll benefit from the best deal, as well as the best advice. Should the worst unfortunately happen, Fleetcare will be with you all the way with the insurance help you need, when you need it most, 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. That’s quite unlike those scammers.

Written by
Mark Schneider

Mark is a successful copywriter with over 20 years of professional writing experience.

We welcome him as a guest blogger to Fleettorque.

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