A TikToker claims there’s a new variant of insurance fraud in which people are intentionally being hit by cars to collect insurance money. And while it’s not quite a “new” brand of scam, the discussion around it underscored how having a dashboard camera might insulate you against such situations.
The video comes courtesy of TikToker Trevor Abney (@itstrevorabney), who has a number of videos on his site in which he rants about topics while wearing a backward baseball cap. In this TikTok video, which went up Friday (with nearly 570,000 views so far), he details what he claims is a new way to scam insurance companies out of money—putting innocent drivers at fault.
Abney, the subject of a September Daily Dot story about getting kicked out of a gym “less than 10 minutes after talking to a woman at the gym,” starts this video by declaring, “There is a new trend of insurance fraud that is going around and everyone needs to be aware of this. And I was talking to a cop at a gas station the other day and he said that he sees this almost every single day.”
As Abney details, “What’s happening is people are going to residential streets or parking lots where the speed limit is very slow. They’re standing on the side of the road… waiting for someone going slow enough that they can walk out in front of and intentionally get hit.”
While he doesn’t document any of his claims in the video, he asserts, “As you hit someone on the road, if no one else sees, like if there are no other witnesses, then you’re automatically at fault.” He goes on to say that this is because people won’t believe drivers who say a pedestrian just walked out in front of the driver’s car.
He goes on to claim, not entirely reflective of how car insurance works, “Then they’re gonna get all of your insurance money.”
Pedestrian deaths do happen: According to the National Safety Council, “The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) estimates 8,984 pedestrians died in traffic or non-traffic incidents in 2021. Non-traffic incidents occur on non-traffic ways such as driveways, parking lots, or other private property. The latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that, in 2021, 7,388 pedestrians died in traffic crashes occurring on public roads.”
But among this landscape are people who are looking to get hit in myriad ways for a payout.
According to a Value Penguin article from March, the phenomenon of staged accidents is both established and more common than you might think. The article primarily details vehicular accidents, noting, “Staged accidents can be caused by an individual, but it’s more often an organized crime activity. Crime rings are responsible for dozens of accidents a year, pocketing millions of dollars from innocent victims. Insurance fraud costs the U.S. an estimated $308.6 billion per year, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. And the losses due to fraud may be factored into the average cost of insurance for all policyholders, so honest drivers end up footing the bill over the long term.”
But a Tampa law firm noted, in an article on the topic, that “even pedestrians sometimes try to pull car accident scams. This happens when a pedestrian deliberately darts out in front of a vehicle while it’s traveling slowly, causing them to get hit. The pedestrian then claims to be badly injured and blames the victim driver.”
Both articles gave advice that one of the commenters provided in all caps.
“EVERYONE. NEEDS. A. DASH CAM,” that person said. “Seriously even if it’s a super cheap one it’s WORTH IT!”
Code: Trev♬ original sound – Trevor Abney
One contended that even the threat of having a dashcam thwarts such fraud attempts, saying, “Just say you have it all on dash cam that works 90% of the time.”
Someone else did respond to that with, “Except when you have to provide footage. Which would be 100% of the time so your 90% success rate is literally zero.”
Another advised, “You actually don’t want to tell someone or cops you have a dash cam until you review footage.”
“I have a dash cam,” someone admitted, adding, “I got it because I had someone who pulled out in front of me (60mph road) and I had to swerve to miss them.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to the creator via TikTok DM.