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Issue 166 - November, 2013 (2nd Edition) - Page 7

'Young Romanian Woman' Car Crash Scam Warning

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Outline
Circulating social media message describes a scam tactic in which a young Romanian woman deliberately causes a car accident and is then met at the scene by two male friends who try to take the victim's car away on a low loader.

Car accident

© Depositphotos.com/ Jiri Moucka



Brief Analysis
The message is simply too vague to have much value as a warning. It seems likely that the message is attempting to describe a car insurance scam.  In such scams, perpetrators deliberately cause an accident in order to claim insurance for injuries or damage to the vehicle. In some cases, the scammers try to trick victims into having their vehicle taken away by someone they recommend. But the truck drivers will be part of the scam and will charge the insurance company for removal fees.  Such fraud campaigns do occur. But this warning gives no location for the supposed incident nor does it describe how the scam actually works or how people can avoid it.

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Example

PEOPLE BEWARE!!
IVE PUT IT IN CAPS TO MAKE YOU ALL AWARE. LATEST SCAM YOUNG ROMANIAN WOMAN DRIVING ROUND IN CAR WITH FOREIGN PLATES THATS NOT RECOGNISED BY OUR POLICE DATABASES. SHE CRASHES INTO YOU THEN MINUTES LATER HER TWO MALE FRIENDS TURN UP WITH A LOW LOADER TO TAKE YOUR CAR. SHE BEGS AND PLEADS NOT TO RING THE POLICE AND THEY TRY TO INTIMIDATE YOU INTO RELEASING YOUR CAR. THIS HAPPENED TO ME 4 WEEK AGO I ENDED UP WITH THE POLICE OUT AS SHE DOESNT EVEN HAVE A FULL LICENSE SHE IS DRIVING ON A PROVISIONAL. LADIES ESPECIALLY PLEASE BE AWARE. IT HAS COST ME APPROX 4K UPTO NOW. THEYVE WROTE MY CAR OFF AND IM STUCK WITH NOTHING ID ONLY HAD MY CAR 8MONTHS. PLEASE REPOST SO EVERYONE IS AWARE.


Detailed Analysis


This social media message, breathlessly rendered in ALL CAPS for added impact, describes an alleged scam in which a "young Romanian woman" deliberately drives into the targeted victim's car.  According to the message, soon after the accident, two male friends of the young woman arrive with a low loader to take the victim's car away. Supposedly, the scammer, who has foreign number plates on her vehicle and only has a provisional licence, begs the victim not to involve police while her male accomplices try to intimidate the victim into releasing her car to them.

It seems likely that the author of the message is attempting to describe some manner of car insurance scam. Scams involving deliberate car accidents do occur and are often perpetrated by criminal gangs working together.  For example, the scammer may stop suddenly in the hope that a following driver will slam into them and then later procure money from the victim's insurance company for imaginary injuries or damage to the vehicle.

As part of some car insurance scams, the criminals might try to use their own car recovery company to take vehicles away from an accident scene and then charge insurance companies for a recovery fee.

The message gives no indication as to where the accident took place.  Not even the country is listed. Nor is the date of the accident specified. Given that such messages can circulate for months or even years, specifying a time frame of four weeks earlier is meaningless. And, the message gives no references or information that would allow recipients to find out more details about the alleged scam campaign.

It leaves recipients to try to guess what the motivation for the scam actually is and provides no information that might help people avoid such scams. As noted, such scam campaigns certainly do take place, but they are not all perpetrated by young Romanian women. 

Unfortunately, while car insurance scams are real, this message is just too vague and confused to have much merit as a warning about them.

If you are involved in an accident, it is important that you alert authorities, even if the accident is relatively minor.  Make sure all pertinent details of the accident are recorded. Do not sign any insurance or legal documents given to you by the other driver. And, be wary of people who come to the accident scene and offer to take your vehicle away or recommend that you use particular towing companies, doctors, or legal services. 

Finally, here's a tip. Writing a message in all capital letters is not a good way to make people take more notice.  A great many Internet users will immediately dismiss such an all caps message as just one more piece of useless Internet drivel.

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Last updated: November 14, 2013
First published: November 14, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
'Cash-for-crash' scam in Durham 'put car insurance up by £100'
Protection againts auto insurance fraud
Email Etiquette Tip - DON'T SHOUT!



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Issue 166 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
  1. Philippines Typhoon Disaster Scams
  2. Wedding Invitation Malware Emails
  3. 'Suspicious Guy Claiming He is You' Spam Emails
  4. Hunting Family Posing With Dead Elephant Picture
  5. 'Missing Persons in Australia' Facebook Like-Farming Scam
  6. Baby Iko Facebook Sick Child Hoax
  7. 'Young Romanian Woman' Car Crash Scam Warning
  8. No, Scientists in Texas are NOT Going to Use Sex Offenders for Medical Research
  9. Facebook Hate Campaign Against Keely Currie
  10. Chinese Teleportation Road Rescue Video
  11. PlayStation 4 Like and Share Giveaway Facebook Scam
  12. Circulating Video of Girl Throwing Puppies Causing Outrage
  13. 'Bizarre Unknown' Fish Caught in Malaysia Not So Mysterious
  14. No, The Bitstrips App is NOT an NSA Trojan
  15. 'Removing An Old Setting' Facebook Notification Message
  16. Did a Man in China Sue His Wife For Being Ugly?
  17. '200 Pieces of iPhone' Facebook Giveaway Scam
  18. Gmail '4 Missed Emails' Pharmacy Spam
  19. 'Freedom Award Lottery Promotion Agency' Facebook Page Scam
  20. Spider in Oreo Cookie Photograph
  21. 'Giant Fukushima Mutant Dog' Picture
  22. Oprah Winfrey is NOT Dead - Links in Message Lead to Rogue App
  23. ANZ Phishing Scam - 'We Detected a Login Attempt With a Valid Password'
  24. 'Microsoft Facebook Yahoo Windows Live Award' Advance Fee Scam
  25. Chemical Burns From Gel In Diaper Warning Message
  26. Charles F. Feeney 'Grant Donation' Advance Fee Scam
  27. False and Damaging Rumour - 'RSPCA Paid to Keep Quiet About Halal Slaughtering'
  28. 'Apple ID Information Updated' Phishing Scam
  29. ASDA Attempted Kidnapping Hoax
  30. Bogus Message Proclaims ' Christmas is banned: IT Offends Muslims'
  31. False Rumour - Patron at Cosmo Romford Finds Dog Microchip Wedged in Tooth
  32. Hoax - Picture of 'World's Largest Tortoise'
  33. Fogg Hill Wolf Kill Warning Poster
  34. NO, Obama is NOT Opening Free Gas Stations in Poor Neighborhoods
  35. Marks & Spencer Poppy Sales Three Percent False Rumour
  36. Westpac 'Login Attempt From Unrecognized Device' Phishing Scam
  37. 'Really Bad Virus' Warning
  38. Facebook Surcharge Hoax - £1 Per Month From January 2015
  39. BMW M5 Giveaway Like-Farming Scam
  40. 'Baby Andrei Needs Help' Facebook Page Donations Scam
  41. Beware of Fake Obamacare Websites
  42. 'Temporarily Blocked From Liking Pages' Facebook Message
  43. 'Pieces of iPad' Giveaway Facebook Scam
  44. Hoax - Hacking Group Anonymous Targeting Facebook Users With Giraffe Profile Pics
  45. Bogus Warning - Canned Fruit From Thailand Contaminated With HIV
  46. Giraffe Profile Picture Virus Hoax