If your car breaks down somewhere you are unfamiliar with, or you can’t seem to locate help, you might find yourself panicking. For the first few moments, you will try to figure out what went wrong and even try fixing it yourself. While you are toiling away at fixing your car, a tow truck might stop beside you. It’s surely a miracle, right? WRONG. Remember, all that glitters is not gold.
A lot of people hand over their vehicle keys to the towing truck because that is exactly what they needed only to realize later that their vehicle has been illegally towed. To get their car back, they have to pay heavy charges. Towing fraud has become very common. Educating yourself on how to avoid getting caught in such a scheme will keep you and your vehicle safe.
1. Make Yourself Aware
To protect yourself from towing fraud, you must know who you are working with, what you are paying for, and how much coverage your insurance company will provide. The more you make yourself aware, the fewer the chances are that you will get caught in a towing fraud scheme.
2. Understand Your Insurance Policy
Always make sure that you know what your insurance policy says. Review it thoroughly to see if roadside assistance comes under coverage, and if it does, what its limitations are. In case you meet with an accident, you should know how the insurance company will handle the towing task and how much of the towing charges the company will take responsibility for. This will make you rely on your insurance company alone and will prevent you from falling victim to towing fraud.
3. Deal With the Towing Operator Intelligently
If you have not yet called for a towing service and are offered help by a passing tow truck, you should immediately raise your guard. Although the towing truck may be from a reputable company, you should not take any risks. Tell the towing operator politely that you don’t need any assistance for now or that help is already on the way.
4. Don’t Let Your Car Out Of Sight
Do not let the towing operator take your car as long as they do not provide a printed, authentic invoice. The invoice should have a complete breakdown of charges, including the towing fee and storage fee. You should also know where the operator is towing your car.
5. Match the Company Logo
Always match the company logo on the towing vehicle with that on the operator’s uniform and the provided documentation to be sure the help is from a reliable company.
6. Do Not Give Out Personal Data
One of the major reasons why towing fraud has become so common is that people give out too much of their personal information. You should NEVER give out your personal information as long as you don’t have the assurance that it is safe to do so.
You can stay protected from towing fraud if you are educated enough in terms of your insurance policy and towing services and are mindful of the possible fraudulent practices.