Imagine you’re in a situation wherein you got involved in a minor accident. Your car is not completely wrecked, but the engine is failing to start, making your car undrivable. But, you realize soon that luck is on your side as you see an approaching tow truck with its light bar flashing.
Of course, you will be comforted knowing that your car is going to be towed to the nearest vehicle repair shop. But that’s until the bill is handed to you, indicating that shockingly, the tow had actually cost thousands of dollars.
Moving back into reality, you may think that the scenario is not possible, but to inform you, things like that actually happen. Unfortunately, alongside legitimate tow truck companies, a lot of scammers also operate out there.
If you don’t know how to decipher which is which, you may find yourself paying an unreasonable amount, such as whopping thousands instead of hundreds. In this guide, we will discuss ways on how you can spot or avoid a towing scam when you find yourself caught up in a similar scenario.
Ask for a Company Identification Card
First things first, never allow a towing service to tow your vehicle without any police officer in the scene. In addition, if you ever get involved in an accident or in need of assistance, and a tow truck just happens to be “passing by,” remember that it is important to ask for any identification card in order to know if the towing service is legitimate or not.
Scammers in this line of services happen to learn real-time accidents or breakdowns due to interfering police alerts. The key to avoiding this is to always verify if the person is indeed part of a legitimate company that provides towing services. By doing so, you can be saved from paying an extremely high and unwarranted fee.
Insurance Info is Not Needed
Remember, if a towing personnel asks for your insurance information, that should instantaneously raise a red flag. It’s vital to note that all the needed details have been given previously to your insurance provider. A lot of times, towing scammers will use this info to obtain more money from you. For instance, they may pretend to be your insurer and call you at another point in time to try getting additional details. This is obviously dangerous and for sure, experts will recommend you to be on the side of caution if you’re in doubt or hesitant about a situation.
Document Things into Writing
If you know that your insurance is going to shoulder the expenses of a tow or if your vehicle is under warranty, you should not allow anyone to tow or service your car since this may void your contract agreement with your car’s insurer. Moreover, even though it is too good to be true and you can trust someone’s word, there is still no assurance that they will stick to it. And once the service is done, there is nothing you can do to contest a charge without a written document.
Insist Your Preferred Towing Destination
It’s common that towing service companies base their prices on the number of miles towed, so it is important to know and communicate with the towing service about your car’s destination early on. It is because many tow scammers will try to tow your car to their own mechanic shop where they will try to use the situation you’re in and get as much cash out of you as possible. Unless prohibited by your car manufacturer or insurance company, you should know that you have the right to send your car to a destination of your choice.
Nowadays, there are numerous people who take advantage of others for monetary gain. Therefore, it’s indispensable to be more cautious and keen when encountering questionable individuals while dealing with sudden undesirable situations.