Incidents of windshield repair scams have been a problem in recent years. There has been a crackdown in recent years to help prevent this type of situation, but you should still be extra cautious if an unsolicited stranger tells you there is damage to your windshield that needs to be repaired or replaced right away. You might not find anything wrong with the deal as that person might even lure you by offering free movie tickets or gift cards along with the free windshield replacement. But beware – there is a decent chance that if this is happening outside of a trusted auto body or repair shop, it could be a scam.
THE WINDSHIELD SCAMMER PROCESS:
- These incidences have been occurring at gas stations and car washes, as well as other unexpected public spaces. The scammers attempt to catch you off-guard.
- They will influence you to replace your windshield, or repair a very small ding or crack.
- After talking to you about the repair you need, they will then tell you that it’s a free fix! Some will even offer a gift card or movie tickets, meaning you actually come out ahead on the deal. How could you say no?
- After you agree, they will attempt to get all your insurance information from you.
- Then they will charge your auto insurance company a greatly inflated number.
- You will end up with a large claim on your insurance at the end of the day, that will probably be hard to trace after the fact.
HOW CAN WINDSHIELD REPAIR SCAMS AFFECT YOU?
- PUT YOUR SAFETY AT RISK – Being tricked by a windshield repair scam can put both you and your passengers’ safety at risk. A windshield ding or scratch may not be repaired correctly, which could actually put it at greater risk for future damage. A full-on replacement also could be made of a lower-quality glass that is again at a greater risk for more problems down the road.
- INCREASE THE CHANCES OF YOUR INSURANCE GETTING CANCELLED – The false claims made by the crook could even lead to the cancellation of your entire auto policy. Your insurance company has all the rights to cancel your policy on the basis of multiple as well as false claims in a limited period of time – having this happen to you just once might not have this effect, but multiple times equals multiple claims, and your insurance company wants to pay out as little as they can.
- INCREASE YOUR PREMIUM – Windshield repair scams can also make you unnecessarily pay for a false claim made by the scammers. If there are continued claims, your rates are very likely to go up. Other insurance companies would likely charge you more to be insured by them in the future, too.
This could happen to anyone – but if it has happened to you, there are definitely some steps you can to take to ensure that it does not happen again! As soon you realize that you have been scammed, your first responsibility is to report this crime to the Arizona Department of Insurance and give them a detailed description of the event.
You should definitely also talk to your insurance company to save yourself from any future problems. In the future, check credentials or reviews, or ripoffreport.com, before allowing any work to be done on your vehicle. It’s unfortunate but necessary to have your guard up, and to do your homework before trusting a shop with your insurance information to file claims on your behalf.