Watch out! That fender bender could actually be a scam

Posted at 6:34 PM, Aug 27, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-28 09:17:45-04

One victim is still angry after she got tangled in an insurance scam by simply being at an intersection.

”I was stopped at a stop sign and a car was going to turn left in front of me. So, she waved me on. As I was turning, she hit the back of my car,” says the victim.

As soon as it happened, the victim approached the other car.

"I asked if everyone was OK, and they all had a different ailment. It was `It`s my neck., my knee, my eye.` They were all wearing seatbelts. So, I knew that I had been scammed right away," says the victim.

Immediately she grabbed her cell phone.

"I started taking pictures with my cell phone. That seemed to upset them greatly. They didn`t want me taking pictures of their car or anyone in the car, because I knew they weren`t telling the truth. There was no way they could have injured themselves in the way they were describing just by a little bump to my car,” says the victim.

Postal inspectors say the victim was one of 80 targeted by this group alone.  Total loses were around $130,000.

”All of a sudden, they`re in this car accident and they have no idea how they got there because they were being waved on,” says Stephanie Barrett, US Postal Inspector.

Another version of the scam occurs in parking lots when the victim is backing out of a spot.

”The suspect’s car would stop and wave them out of the parking spot. And they would start going out of the spot and the suspect car would drive as fast as they could and hit the other vehicle,” says Barrett.

Inspectors got a lucky break.

"On her case, we happened to get the black box from the vehicle the suspect was driving. It shows them going from a dead stop at 0 miles per hour to 30 in 2 seconds in order to hit her car," says Barrett.

”I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I`m trusting by nature - but it has hardened me to not really believe everything someone says or does,” the victim says.

Postal inspectors say this is not an easy scam to avoid.  Always take photos and video after the accident showing exactly who was there and how they appeared after the accident.