Winter is here and there is a good chance that snowy conditions may put you in a situation where you will need assistance from a tow truck. However, people who know about such things warn that your problems due to the snow could get a whole lot worse due to tow truck scams.
If you live in a snowy region of the country then you have probably experienced a friendly tow truck driver who happens to appear and who offers to help you get your car out from under drifted snow or out of a dip in the side of the road. However, people who know of these things say that this apparent friendly tow truck driver could be setting you up for a scam. Scam tow truck drivers have been known to charge extremely high prices for their service and they have also been known to hold your car hostage until you pay their towing and storage fees. There have been reports that a scam tow truck service could charge as much as $1,600 for towing and storing a car with a flat tire.
It is easy to fall prey to such scam artists. After all, you didn’t expect to confront the problem that has caused the need for a tow truck and any assistance would be greatly appreciated at the time. Still, you need to be aware of the possible problems that could result if the tow truck that is helping you is actually the beginning of a scam. It so happens that Allstate Insurance company, the nation’s largest publicly owned personal insurer, has come up with some tips to help you to avoid what they call “Bandit Tow Scams.”
- Select a tow truck service that is known by your motor club or roadside assistance program of which you are a member.
- Allow only a tow truck driver that you have called to provide you with assistance.
- Do not give your insurance information to the tow truck driver.
- Make certain that the signage on the truck and any papers that the tow truck driver gives you are consistent and identical.
- Have your car towed to your home or a repair shop of your choice.
- Ask for a printed documentation that provides the price of the towing service as well as fees for storage and other miscellaneous services.
- Make sure you get printed documentation describing where your vehicle is towed.
- Sign below the dollar amount quoted.
- Remove personal items and valuables from your car before it is towed.
Take heed of these suggestions. Remember, it is best to be safe then sorry.