When you have been involved in a car wreck, you may receive numerous phone calls. If any of these calls are unsolicited calls from someone posing as “your advocate” advising you to seek treatment at a specific clinic this is a scam.
In this blog, we’ll highlight a couple of tricks utilized by scammers you should be aware of.
Beware of Common Scams Directing you to Get Treatment with a Specific Healthcare Provider after a Car Wreck
To avoid becoming part of another statistic, here are a few ways scammers go about their business:
Advising you That You Have an Appointment at a Specific Facility
Scammers that cold-call customers employ the oldest trick in the book. They tell you that you have an appointment with a specific facility for injuries due to your recent car wreck. They may even tell you to contact a specific attorney’s office for representation. However, the self-imposed service comes with a cost.
Remember your insurance company will not call you to tell you that you have an appointment with any providers, nor will they advise you to call a specific attorney. This is only an attempt to bill your car insurance company for services they claim you needed. You have a choice of which healthcare providers to treat with and you also have a choice which attorneys you choose to help you with your claim.
Claiming That They Are Your Advocate or “With” Your Insurance Company
Your insurance company will not call you to tell you where to go for treatment for any injuries related to your car wreck. If they wish to get in touch, it is usually only to touch base on the property damage portion of your claim and to determine if you are receiving treatment. But they do not call to tell you where to get your treatment at. They are merely attempting to find out what treatment you are receiving so they can set aside their reserves when it comes time to pay your claim. Your treatment should be directed by your primary care physician. If your primary care physician feels you need further diagnostics or other therapy, they will refer you out for such treatment or testing.
Do not fall for unsolicited telephone calls from anyone. Remember the police report from the car wreck contains your home address as well as your phone number. This report is public information and is frequently used to identify accident victims such as yourself. However, some use this information to trick you into treating with specific providers. Beware! If you receive one of these telephone calls, inquire about the caller’s name, identity, concerned department, and a phone number to call back.
Offering Free Rides to the Providers Location
Sometimes, a provider will offer you the convenience of free transportation to their facility for treatment. They might also claim that your insurance company directed them to call you. Again if this happens, you should always obtain their information and call your insurance company and ask if they know who this caller is.
To verify whether this is a scam or not, ask for the caller’s name, phone number and what company they claim to work for. Then call your automobile insurance company and ask if this person works for them. After you determine the caller is not an employee of your insurance company, then call the attorney general’s office and report this scam. Contacting the attorney general’s office can help prevent other innocent victims from being scammed by these practices.
One of the problems with these practices is that the provider you are directed to treat with will have you sign a lien form. This lien will be filed with the court house and with your motor vehicle insurance company. Then they will bill you thousands of dollars for treatment and demand their payments through your insurance company. If they deplete your insurance policy this lien will remain on file at the court house and will likely impact your credit.
If you’ve been contacted by such fake representatives or companies, you should report it to the attorney general’s office immediately. If you have been a victim this type of scam, reporting the caller to the attorney general’s office could help prevent the next innocent victim from such practices.
Contact us today for more information.