Car Accident: Phone Scam Overview
The car accident phone scam overview is a typical phishing phone scam. What you think is a good samaritan calling you to express their apologies for having hit your car and offering money to repair it, is really a scam in disguise.
We'll go over how this phishing phone scam works and how to avoid it.
What Is the Car Accident Phone Scam?
In this scam you will receive a call from someone claiming to have hit your parked car, they will be very apologetic. They will say that they don't think any damage other than some scratches happened, but they'd still like to pay you for the repairs of the scratches.
They will claim to have waited some time for you to return to your car, but they had to go because a relative of theirs was in the hospital, or in some other emergency situation. The caller will tell you they got your number from a friend of theirs who works at the RMV or DMV, they asked them to run a search on your plates so that they could call you to apologize and offer money.
At first their claims might seem strange, but you will be appreciative of the fact that they've taken the time to get in touch with you. Their story will start to become more and more believable the more the more detail they give.
Finally they will ask for your banking information so that they may do a bank transfer of a couple hundred dollars out of pocket for you to fix the scratches. They will say that they don't want it to go through their insurance company because they don't want their rates to go up.
How to Avoid This Scam
There are a few ways to avoid this scam and protect your personal information from being stolen.
Check your car.
If you get a call from someone claiming to have hit your car, the first thing you should do is check your car for damage. Before the caller even gets very far into their story, ask them where they hit your car. Hang up and tell them you'll call them back if you think anything needs to be paid for.
Check the phone number.
Run a reverse phone lookup on the number to see who it belongs to. Scammers will often spoof local numbers in order to fool their victims. If the name on the phone number doesn’t match the name the caller gave you, be suspicious.
Never share personal financial information with an unknown caller.
Don't give bank account information to someone you don't know. No matter how nice they seem on the phone and how believable their story may be.
How to Report This Scam
The best way to report this scam is by raising awareness of it in your community. You can share your experience with a scammer in our phone number lookup directory or in our call tracing iPhone app. By leaving feedback on the phone number that tried to scam you, you'll be warning others about the scam and saving them from becoming victims of identity theft.