Edie Linane wouldn’t fall for it.
She knew her 1976 Chevy Nova couldn’t have done the damage that the woman claimed during a confrontation in a Spokane grocery store parking lot earlier this month.
Police agreed, and Linane left without giving the woman the $100 she’d said was needed to avoid an insurance claim.
But Linane, 73, fears the scam could be duping unsuspecting drivers into paying money for damage they didn’t cause.
“I think it’s a scam being perpetuated on old people,” Linane said.
Fraud investigators warn against cash transactions. Most car insurance policies require customers to report even minor collisions immediately.
“Don’t ever hand someone cash in the parking lot,” said Rich Roesler, spokesman for the state Insurance Commissioner’s Office. “Your rates might go up, but you avoid the risk of these sorts of headaches and shakedowns afterwards.”
Linane had just entered the Albertsons at 1617 Northwest Blvd. Sept. 9 when a woman approached and said Linane had slammed the driver’s door of her Nova into the woman’s Blazer several times.
Linane went outside to look at the cars.
“I said, that’s not where your car was,” Linane said.
But the woman insisted Linane did the damage and refused to exchange insurance companies. She wanted cash instead.
When Linane tried to drive away, the woman sat on the Nova’s back bumper and refused to leave, she said.
Linane called police, and an officer concluded Linane’s Nova could not have damaged the woman’s Blazer as she claimed.
No report was taken because “the damage the complainant claims the gal caused did not match up with the door heights of the cars,” said Spokane police spokeswoman Jennifer DeRuwe.
Police aren’t aware of an ongoing scheme but encourage anyone to call them if they have questions about the legitimacy of an accident claim.
“Anytime you could be a potential victim and you have concerns, let us come sort it out,” DeRuwe said.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.