The Woodlands, TX, Ranks 5th for Car Accident Towing ScamsOctober 14, 2020
If You Drive in The Woodlands, Here’s What You Need to Know About Towing Scams & How to Protect Yourself After a Crash
When a wreck happens, the last thing you want to think about is a scammer trying to pick your pockets while you’re trying to pick up the pieces. Unfortunately, that’s been the nightmare many crash victims in The Woodlands and the Greater Houston area have had to face.
Specifically, the con involves towing companies working with unregulated body shops.
They try to catch crash victims off guard while they’re vulnerable and surrounded by the chaos of an accident scene. And they’ve gotten so brazen and rampant in The Woodlands and Greater Houston that the area has been ranked as the 5th worst region in the U.S. for towing scams.
Attention Car Accident Victims in The Woodlands: Beware of “Flipping” Scam
Here’s how the car accident towing scam typically works:
- A tow truck operator arrives without being contacted: Operators may stop by crashes they see on the side of roads. They have even been known to listen to police scanners so they can show up before other local towers are called.
- The operator gets drivers to blank sign documents: Usually, they tell drivers that a signature is needed to “authorize” the tow. The signature, however, can give towing operators the ability to take vehicles to unregulated auto body repair shops. Often, the towing companies that run these scams work with or are owned by auto body repair shops.
- The charges start piling up: This can include excessive vehicle storage fees. It can also include charges for work that was never needed or performed.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the problem of towing scams is robbing car accident victims of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
How to Avoid a Towing Scam After a Car Accident in The Woodlands & Greater Houston
To avoid getting scammed by a predatory towing company, here’s what you can do:
- Do not deal with any tow truck operators who you or law enforcement did not call.
- Ask for company identification (like an employee badge or a business card) when an operator who you have called arrives on the scene.
- Do not give tow truck operators insurance information or personal lien holder information.
- Verify tow truck signage is identical to company information on any documentation the operator gives you.
- If a tow truck operator is getting aggressive or belligerent with you, take it as a red flag that something’s not right. A legitimate operator will typically be helpful, instead of trying to push you into signing papers immediately.
- If you doubt an operator is legit, inform police. If police aren’t already on the scene, contact a here’s how you can contact a sheriff or police department in The Woodlands, TX.
- Ask for a printed price list upfront before signing or agreeing to anything. This list should include daily storage fees and any other charges that could tacked onto your bill.
- Ask to see printed documentation for any location where your vehicle is being towed (if it’s being taken to a location you have not chosen).
While these tips can help you avoid predatory towing companies, that may be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to protecting yourself as you recover from a crash. When it’s time to file a claim and protect your rights to recovery and justice, it’s time to contact the Amaro Law Firm.
The Amaro Law Firm Can Help You After a Car Accident in The Woodlands, TX
The Woodlands car accident lawyers at the Amaro Law Firm are the advocates you can trust when it’s time to recover from an auto wreck. We can explain your rights and provide you with exceptional advocacy moving forward.