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Car park scratch scammers in Canberra

By Canfan - 18 April 2015 9

Reader Windblane has submitted the below information following what he believes may be indicative of a wider car park scratch scam in Canberra.

Here’s the scam: Targeted at women on their own who are possibly likely to be intimidated. They park their car, get some shopping, when they come back an irate woman comes over and says “you scratched my car”. She points to scratch on her car. When subject denies doing it, the irate woman points to a male accomplice nearby and elaborates “my brother saw you”. Demands personal details.

Happened to my wife in Dickson at 4.30 p.m. She  pointed out that the scratch on other car was a different colour, took a photo and left, badly shaken up, and with a scratch on her car.

If it happens to you, I’d suggest you call the police immediately, I think they’d be happy to talk to these people.

Do you know more? Have you experienced a similar incident? If you do see suspicious activity, contact ACT Policing on 131 444.

What’s Your opinion?


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9 Responses to
Car park scratch scammers in Canberra
vintage123 9:40 pm 21 Apr 15

thatsnotme said :

vintage123 said :

Hey watto23,
Yeah your right, I was wrong, I was thinking of another case and confused myself. What they don’t cover is fully comprehensive insurance if the claimant was breaking the road rules. The case I was thinking of was where someone was speeding in a car park and crashed into another car, writing both cars off. Because the road rules were broken there was some complexities in finding fault. It all got messy.

I think you’re still confused! If insurance companies didn’t pay out for accidents when road rules were broken, there’d be a whole lot of people not getting payouts. I can barely think of a single accident where one party wouldn’t have broken a road rule of some type – whether not giving way, traveling too close to the vehicle in front, not paying attention, driving too fast for the conditions, and so on.

Finding the at fault driver could be tricky, but that’s not going to stop the claim being paid, just affects whether the excess has to be paid too.

About the only law I can think of that impacts paying out is drink driving – perhaps if you were in a police pursuit or something that might be an issue for the insurance companies too.

The case was about speeding and not giving way in a car park. As I said it got messy. The insurance company did not payout.

thatsnotme 8:40 pm 21 Apr 15

vintage123 said :

Hey watto23,
Yeah your right, I was wrong, I was thinking of another case and confused myself. What they don’t cover is fully comprehensive insurance if the claimant was breaking the road rules. The case I was thinking of was where someone was speeding in a car park and crashed into another car, writing both cars off. Because the road rules were broken there was some complexities in finding fault. It all got messy.

I think you’re still confused! If insurance companies didn’t pay out for accidents when road rules were broken, there’d be a whole lot of people not getting payouts. I can barely think of a single accident where one party wouldn’t have broken a road rule of some type – whether not giving way, traveling too close to the vehicle in front, not paying attention, driving too fast for the conditions, and so on.

Finding the at fault driver could be tricky, but that’s not going to stop the claim being paid, just affects whether the excess has to be paid too.

About the only law I can think of that impacts paying out is drink driving – perhaps if you were in a police pursuit or something that might be an issue for the insurance companies too.

vintage123 5:22 pm 21 Apr 15

watto23 said :

vintage123 said :

The majority of insurance companies do not cover damage in car parks. This is not well known.
I think this scam was more likely identity fraud. If the person gives their full name, address, phone number and car rego then the scammers could possibly steal their identity.

Not true at all. They cover car parks unless its changed very recently, but can’t see how they can legally avoid claims from carparks. Its often more difficult to determine fault.
I had a women hit my open door. My insurance company however charged me excess because where fault cannot be determined (she said i opened it quickly as she was pulling in) then the insurance company will demand the excess (same if you can’t provide details of the other party).

Another instance i was hit on the left hand side (ie i was to the right) and the insurance company mad the other party pay up. The other driver just assumed they had right of way to crossing traffic in the car park, and drove too quickly also, but an unmarked carpark lane means give way to the right.

These were with AAMI and NRMA. So two very major insurers who covered car park incidents.

Hey watto23,
Yeah your right, I was wrong, I was thinking of another case and confused myself. What they don’t cover is fully comprehensive insurance if the claimant was breaking the road rules. The case I was thinking of was where someone was speeding in a car park and crashed into another car, writing both cars off. Because the road rules were broken there was some complexities in finding fault. It all got messy.

watto23 4:25 pm 21 Apr 15

vintage123 said :

The majority of insurance companies do not cover damage in car parks. This is not well known.
I think this scam was more likely identity fraud. If the person gives their full name, address, phone number and car rego then the scammers could possibly steal their identity.

Not true at all. They cover car parks unless its changed very recently, but can’t see how they can legally avoid claims from carparks. Its often more difficult to determine fault.
I had a women hit my open door. My insurance company however charged me excess because where fault cannot be determined (she said i opened it quickly as she was pulling in) then the insurance company will demand the excess (same if you can’t provide details of the other party).

Another instance i was hit on the left hand side (ie i was to the right) and the insurance company mad the other party pay up. The other driver just assumed they had right of way to crossing traffic in the car park, and drove too quickly also, but an unmarked carpark lane means give way to the right.

These were with AAMI and NRMA. So two very major insurers who covered car park incidents.

vintage123 11:41 am 21 Apr 15

The majority of insurance companies do not cover damage in car parks. This is not well known.
I think this scam was more likely identity fraud. If the person gives their full name, address, phone number and car rego then the scammers could possibly steal their identity.

Alexandra Craig 11:00 am 21 Apr 15

JC said :

Alexandra Craig said :

Wow! This is so interesting! It’s a bit of a risk on the scammers part though I would have thought. If someone damages your car, the insurance company organises repairs – they don’t just hand the cash over do they? At best they’ll just get a fixed scratch unless the other party agrees to just give them money?

Insurance you need to pay an excess and of course when you claim you (may) loose your no claim bonus so more costly next year. So under a certain amount it is cheaper not to get insurance involved.

I reckon this scam would play on that, demand a few hundred dollars, below the excess and keep insurance companies out of it, all settled.

Hmm true. However I did this once – not scamming haha – but I caused minor damage to someone’s car and I wanted to pay for it upfront without taking out an insurance claim. I explained that to their insurer and they just sent me a payment notice and I paid it to the insurer who I assume then paid for the damage.

JC 9:53 am 21 Apr 15

Alexandra Craig said :

Wow! This is so interesting! It’s a bit of a risk on the scammers part though I would have thought. If someone damages your car, the insurance company organises repairs – they don’t just hand the cash over do they? At best they’ll just get a fixed scratch unless the other party agrees to just give them money?

Insurance you need to pay an excess and of course when you claim you (may) loose your no claim bonus so more costly next year. So under a certain amount it is cheaper not to get insurance involved.

I reckon this scam would play on that, demand a few hundred dollars, below the excess and keep insurance companies out of it, all settled.

Alexandra Craig 9:40 am 21 Apr 15

Wow! This is so interesting! It’s a bit of a risk on the scammers part though I would have thought. If someone damages your car, the insurance company organises repairs – they don’t just hand the cash over do they? At best they’ll just get a fixed scratch unless the other party agrees to just give them money?

Feng 9:22 pm 20 Apr 15

Yeah that sounds dodgy. Funny thing that I felt this was going to happen at Dickson the other day as well.

We were parked in a bay opposite the Asian butcher and my wife was inside buying some meat. As she came out and got into the car, a guy and some girls came by to get into their car.

First thing the guy did was look at the door of his car which I found really bizarre. I haven’t seen anyone look straight at their door after getting to their car for a while.

He looked at my wife who was backing our white car out and then saw me. I felt that he hesitated after seeing me and then turned back looking at his door again. Then he decided to leave it be and think he got in.

Funny thing was that our car was nowhere near scratching his door and I was actually looking forward to a fight.

It was a Caucasian group of teenagers with a dodgy, old blue/green car.

Be careful guys and definitely call the cops if it’s not you!

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