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THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 2013, 10:32 A.M.

Why insurance frauds like wrecking big-rigs in Sin City

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The hot new way to make an easy buck in Las Vegas isn’t at the slot machines, but on the highways.  According to a recent report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, there have been nearly 100 suspected staged car accidents in and around Sin City in the past 12 to 28 months. Twenty five of the suspicious wrecks involved big-rigs.  From the perspective of a car insurance fraud, causing an accident with an unsuspecting truck driver makes sense for two main reasons. 

1.  Most big-rigs are insured up the kazoo

2.  They don’t stop easily

Nevada highway scoundrels have shown a preference for defrauding truck drivers’ insurance companies by pulling in front of the massive vehicles and slamming on their brakes.  James Tate of MSN Autos reports that perpetrators of the scheme are dreaming up even grimier ways to work it.   

…”These criminals have taken things a step further by filling the fraudulent cars with one of two kinds of passengers – the willing and the unknowing,” he writes. “In either case, the point is to create multiple claims and, thus, more money. Willing participants -- we’ll call them meth-heads for short -- receive a cut of the insurance money and have often been identified at more than one accident scene. The unknowing – well, they’re often immigrant workers who are picked up and told they’re being driven to a job site.”

Marvelous.  If you’re going to endanger the lives of innocent motorists for insurance fraud, but still aren’t sure you’ll get to go to hell when you die, why not double down by exploiting the lower rungs of society?

In an effort to bring the frauds to justice, Nevada law enforcement and the Nevada Insurance Council has devised a program to install cameras along the state’s public highways.  Trucking companies are being encouraged to install dash cameras in their rigs to record staged accidents and prove their innocence if necessary.

What ever happened to just having a friend wreck your car like they did in the good ol' days? 

To learn how to protect yourself from the most common forms of staged auto crashes, visit the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud website.  

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