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