Auto Collision Fraud

Organized auto-insurance crime has become widespread in Canada, and Ontario has the largest number of fake crashes. The ringleaders are creating more sophisticated and “real” collisions, with owners/employees of medical and rehab clinics taking part. They will also call an ambulance, tow-truck etc. to make it look more real. In 2012 forty-three people were arrested and 199 criminal charges were laid. In a report done in 2012 it was found that $1.6 billion of innocent insurers money, were going towards payments for these frauds. Scam artists specializing in auto collision insurance have racked up millions of dollars, specifically in the past 5 years.

Courts are also becoming more rigorous with the sentencing of such criminals. The leader in the GTA scams has received a 3.5 year sentence. It is also believed that some of New York states masterminds (who were previously involved with insurance fraud of $249 million) have now come to Toronto.

This type of insurance fraud does not only deal with individuals who know that it is a scam, but also deals with innocent drivers. These drivers are victims to collision fraud; the scam artist(s) will make it look as though it is the innocent driver’s fault. There are many different types of “tricks” that they use, ex: “swoop and squat” the scammer will quickly pull in in front of the innocent driver and hit the breaks before the other driver can stop. There is the “left-turn bullet”, this is when the innocent driver is waiting to make a left turn and the scammer tells them to go ahead, and then slams into the car. The problem here is not only that insurance companies are being scammed, but they are also putting innocent people in harms way, an example of this is when an innocent teenager suffered permanent brain damage.

Maneet Salh is a Paralegal student at Centennial College in Toronto studying professional communications with Omar Ha-Redeye.