There always seem to be some new kind of scam. Now it’s identity theft after an accident.
Being involved in a personal injury accident is bad enough without discovering later that your identity was stolen as a result of it. Yes, humanity has sunk that low that some scammers and con artists are now causing accidents with the intention of stealing your identity. Best advice? Do not give your personal information out to anyone except your insurance company or the police after an accident.
The natural response of a driver just involved in a car accident is to immediately exchange personal information with the other person, which often includes phone numbers, home addresses and insurance details. They may also consider contacting a Manchester personal injury lawyer, particularly if the accident was the result of another’s negligence. However, even just the basic information offered to a stranger is often enough to have your identity stolen.
This has actually become such a problem that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) now strongly recommends that anyone in an accident only provide their first and last name, along with the phone number and the name of their insurer. The added caution is to never provide your driver’s license number to a stranger. While this makes infinite sense, it is a sad commentary on the world today that people need to be on their guard against tricks like this.
Identity theft is one of the most popular crimes today, and as the technology around us grows and gets more sophisticated, it becomes easier to steal our most personal essence – our identities. From hacking computers, stealing cell phones and hacking Facebook, to staged car accidents – the world has become a place to be on guard. Makes one wonder what happened to the “old” days.
By just getting some of your preliminary information, it is too easy nowadays to get into credit reports, access your credit cards, insurance, medical information, work address and even banking information. Keep in mind that it is not just your personal information stolen. Staged accidents are a way to defraud insurance companies as well as consumers. After all, it is your rates that go up with each accident – real or staged. You then pay twice for the anxiety, inconvenience and injuries – once by losing your identity and the second time by having to pay higher insurance rates due to successful accident scams.
There are over 5 million car accidents every year, and with identity theft being so popular, there is a good chance some of the wrecks were intentional to fish for the other driver’s personal information. NAIC points out that after an accident, no one pays much attention to what is going on around them and since many are also in shock, they usually hand out more information than they should without thinking. Just provide enough information to complete an accident report for the police, and don’t offer anything else until you speak to your Manchester personal injury lawyer.
Charlie Donahue is a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States. To learn more about New Hampshire injury attorney, Charlie Donahue, visit Donahuelawfirm.com.