Eleven Palm Beach County residents were charged on Monday for their role in a staged accident fraud scheme. The defendants recruited individuals to take part in staged auto accidents in order to claim Personal Injury Protection claims for massage and chiropractic treatments. Those that were recruited were instructed on how to perform the staged accidents and how to speak to law enforcement and insurance companies in order to make the accidents seem authentic. Under Florida law, insurance companies are required to provide $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection coverage per person. In these cases, the claims were sent through US mail and services received were either not necessary or not received at all. Seven chiropractic clinics were involved in the scheme and the charge on the individuals carries a potential of 20 years in prison. Two of the individuals involved have not been located and are considered fugitive.

Ever wonder if it is safe to pull out of a grocery store parking lot only to be targeted by the fraudster? In today’s world the fraudster will use you in their scam whether you want to participate or not. In the “swoop-n-squat” scam the fraudster sees an innocent person get into their vehicle pulling out from a shopping center. Once you pull onto the highway, the fraudster and their band of criminals SWOOP in on you like a group of locus feeding on its prey. The fraudster pulls their vehicle right in front of your vehicle and slams on their brakes for no reason but to intentionally cause a traffic accident. You slam on your brakes but typically your vehicle runs right into the back of the fraudster’s car because the fraudster has just SQUATTED (stopped) in the road. This, in turn, makes you at fault and the fraudster now targets your insurance company with fraudulent medical bills. It is costing most American’s about $300.00 per year in auto insurance premiums just because of the fraudster’s swoop-n-squat scheme. This type of fraud focuses on elderly people and mothers with children. If you find yourself caught up in a “swoop-n-squat” accident take pictures of everyone at the scene and give these pictures to your insurance company. The fraudster does not like to be identified. America it is time to fight back, says fraud expert, Linda Webb, aka The Fraud Dog.

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