July 20, 2009

How To Avoid Auto Insurance Identity Scams

New ways to scam you for your identity are popping up daily. At present, the scam that is causing the most concern for individuals and the police is fraudulent insurance I.D. cards. Many individuals are buying these cards that will let them register their vehicles and keep them from having to pay for insurance. However, there is a rise in the numbers of individuals also unknowingly purchasing these cards and thinking they are really buying an auto insurance policy as well. Thieves are targeting unsuspecting consumers, and are found to be preying especially in immigrant communities.

Avoidance of these scams, as well as others, is not difficult if you know what to look out for. Make sure that when you go to purchase auto insurance, it is from a reputable and licensed individual or company. Verification of the person or company selling the auto insurance can easily be obtained through the department of insurance. Also, do not store personal information on a cell phone. If you lose the phone or if it is ever stolen and it winds up in the hands of a scammer or thief, then you may find your identity compromised. Be alert and conscious of others standing too close for comfort when you write out a check, handle important papers, or use your credit cards in a public place such as your insurance agency or any other place of business. Thieves are not picky about which way they can steal your identity and personal information, and they will resort to the over the shoulder method.

Make calls to the company or individuals; this will also assure you that they are indeed legitimate. You can also protect and avoid scams by opting for full coverage on all of your vehicles. This way, it protects you from scammers that may hit you on purpose and not have any coverage of their own.

Also, if someone calls you on the telephone and tells you that there is a problem with your coverage, auto insurance rates, or with a payment you have made in the past, disregard the phone call and hang up without giving them any information. Getting to know how your insurance agent works will also help you in making the decision whether or not the call is actually coming from your agent or insurance company. If you have questions or think that there may be a legitimate problem with your coverage, call your agent yourself. Never give your information over the phone.