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NewsProtect Yourself Against Claim Harvesting Scams

Protect Yourself Against Claim Harvesting Scams

If you have been in a road accident, you might have suddenly started receiving emails, brochures, calls etc from solicitors claiming you have a case for a compensation.

Road accident victims often fall into “claims harvesting”. “Claims harvesters” are scammers who sell private information to solicitors who encourage them to lodge exaggerated and false injury compensation claims.

In Western Australia, 10% of 3,500 motor injury insurance claims were “harvested” and it has been going on in New South Wales and Queensland for years.

Cold calls are often easier to make to the over-fifties because they are more likely to to respond to a call from a “crash investigation company” or the insurance commission and with a handful of lies and a promise of a large sum of cash, the scammer has you in their claws.

Some of the calls going out may be from stolen data or bought data while some are pure cold calls, hoping the person on the other end has been in an accident.

Unsolicited lawyers target the elderly and offer to act on their behalf.

This of course sounds wonderful but remember the old adage: “if it sounds too good to be true, then it is”.

If you accept the help of the lawyer, what they then do is have you sign an agreement that enables the law firm/company to provide your data to unrelated third parties that provide direct marketing services, including to the law firm.

  • You can protect yourself from harvesting scams.
  • Delete those unsolicited emails
  • Throw away those unsolicited brochures

Do not answer phones calls from unknown numbers. If you happen to answer a call from a solicitor, kindly hang up on them.

More importantly, if you do have a proper case to file a claim, do it with a lawyer you know and trust and not one who’s hit you up via email, mail, or phone call. Also don’t sign anything without reading the fine print.

For more information about protecting yourself against scams, visit ScamWatch.gov.au

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Anthony
Anthony from NSW commented:

I'm beginning to feel patronised. Just because I'm over 75 doesn't mean that I've lost all my marbles. If I had I would have arranged for someone else for me. I have similar comments for your article regarding the use of a credit card. RobertW 

Henry
Henry from NSW commented:

I tell them I have had 2 accidents but died in the last one. Is this the one you are calling about. 

Geoffrey
Geoffrey from NSW commented:

It was once considered unethical for lawyers to advertise, let alone approach people by cold calls. Society needs to tell the various law societies that this behaviour by their members is not appropriate. The ideal would be for lawyers who harrass potential clients to be disbarred from being legal practitioners. Genuine, ethical lawyers do not behave in this manner! 

Stephen
Stephen from QLD commented:

It is incredible, they tend to seek for females to scam with this. I've never been called, but my wife is lucky to go a week without at least one such call. I took the call last time and it has suddenly stopped, I can't understand why, I just said the call is being monitored and the location of the caller is being traced as we speak. Never had another one. 

Ivan
Ivan from NSW commented:

good advice , I have had 3 or 4 such scam calls past year or so , but no accidents !!! 

Gertraud
Gertraud from ACT commented:

I frequently receive calls regarding my "accident" which I haven't had. I usually hang up as soon as they identify themselves, though one of those days I will play along with their spiel. 

Kevin
Kevin from VIC commented:

I had to block scammers who regularly called saying "regarding your recent accident, we can help". Trouble was, I had no accident. 

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