Tow Truck Scam: How Is It Possible, and Is There Any Way to Prevent Towing Scams
Truck operators are decent and hardworking people. If your car breaks down or has an accident, they would come to the rescue and take the car to your desired location. Also, tow trucks take illegally parked cars on city streets and private parking lots. It means that towing is a legitimate business that meets the needs of consumers. So why, then, are there so many discussions about tow truck scams? We will definitely help you figure it out. We start with the important rules to avoid falling victim to the tow scam.
- If your vehicle is already on a truck but still parked, the operator may ask you to pay half of the official police garage towing fee.
- If you are unwilling or unable to pay the requested amount, the problem becomes a civil matter and the operator must release your vehicle.
- Laws vary, but many states have many laws that protect you and your vehicle from being towed. For example, according to California Law: If a towing operator doesn’t pick up your vehicle in a parking lot because you are unwilling or unable to pay the requested amount, they are breaking the law.
- If you are involved in a car accident, but the tow truck wasn’t called, under no circumstances your car be towed by an uninvited trailer. It can be a fake tow.
- Do not give the driver of the tow truck information about your car.
- Make sure the sign on the truck is the same as on the trailer document.
- If the trailer does not have a sign that identifies the name of the trailer company, ask for the company logo.
- If in doubt about the legitimacy of the trailer operator, and there are some signs of a tow truck scam, call the police.
How to Recognize a Fake Tow Truck?
If your vehicle breaks down while traveling, you can call the towing service. If an uncalled tow truck arrives at the scene of the accident, then these are scammers. The same applies if you break down on the road. Do not believe the story that the operator of the tow truck was driving by and decided to help. It is best to check the information. If you hand over the keys and let them take your car, you can pay an exorbitant fee to get it back. Where else could fake towing happen? Another common scam is the illegal cruising of cars parked in parking lots of shopping malls or on private grounds. This can also be a parking lot for a residential complex. But the main rule: the time of parking is up. The vehicle owner has to pay storage, towing, and other fees in order to receive their vehicle back. However, the tariffs would be significantly overstated. Remember that you are in control of the situation. Tow away trucks cannot insist on taking your vehicle to a specific location without your consent. A good towing service would ask where you want to tow it and would only suggest a seat if you ask them. You should also know about fees before you allow your car on their truck. It is better if you ask for a contract. as well as a detailed list of all charges and get a quote in writing before towing your car or bike. Can a tow truck tow a car with someone in it? If you are dealing with private property, you can just get in your car. Of course, you shouldn’t start it and leave. According to the rules, it is forbidden to tow a car with anyone in it. The company can force the police, but you should not be afraid of a fine. When a police officer arrives, do not resist and get out of the car and explain the situation. Most likely, you would not be fined, since it was not you who gave consent to the evacuation. Сan a tow truck tow your car with you in it, if it has police directions? If towing is done under police direction, you cannot prevent it. Nobody can stop them except the police. Intervention may be considered illegal. In Colorado, there was a case when a truck tried to pick up a car with the consent of the police, and a cable was already attached. However, the woman did not agree, got into the car, and tried to leave. The truck driver got caught on the cable with his foot and she ended up dragging him 1.4 miles before he slipped out of his boot. The man died and the woman was found guilty of several crimes.
The Most Popular Towing Scams and What to Do?
If you Google “my car was towed illegally”, then you might be the victim of a scam. There are many ways to do this. And the most common ones are described below.
One of the most obvious scams is that a tow truck already appears right after your car breaks down. When this happens, you should start being suspicious. It is one of the main practices involved in towing scams – patrolling the roads. They are waiting and looking for a difficult car and a potential victim. These drivers pull a stop right in front of your car, and they will gladly suggest a tow truck. They would take the car keys and give you the documents. Then your car would be taken away. And then operators would charge you cash after they’re done if they don’t go missing at all. If you don’t want to cry: “My car was illegally towed”! Be careful.
When illegal tow happens, a driver can propose to you their cheap stores. Another swindler tow truck driver might tell you that they are towing your car to their store. More often than not, they would insist on a lost driver. You should know better than paying for this. Most of the two truckers have no problem towing your vehicle to the requested workshop. And while you take a taxi to another store, you would be told that the driver got lost or took a different road and got stuck in a traffic jam. In fact, your car could have been stolen. This scam has another scenario: the prices in the store turn out to be much higher, but you would only find out about this when you can no longer refuse.
If you come across a trailer that lifts your vehicle onto a truck, keep in mind that these drivers do not necessarily have any legal rights to do it. Perhaps your car was illegally towed, and drivers may ask the victim for money before returning the car. If you are a victim and refuse to pay or have no money, the tow truck operator is still obliged to unlock the car for you. If they leave the parking lot without your permission just because you didn’t pay, know that you can charge them with a crime for doing so.
Tow Company Illegally Towed My Car: What Can I Do?
To find out what to do if you are faced with injustice, look at the issue from a legal point. In 1995, Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act was promulgated, which effectively deregulated the auto transportation industry by preventing local governments from implementing licensing programs through local laws and regulations governing the auto transportation industry, including trucks. Large auto transport companies that successfully pass federal law claim to do business in the States, are licensed, and therefore overregulated. They were filed after the incident when the victim’s car was towed and stored at a high cost in a trailer. The authorities must then investigate to determine if the towing company has the authority to dismantle the vehicle. One of the things these cars have in common was being towed after 5 or 10 minutes of parking. Most government regulations require the owner or legal representative to wait one hour before towing an illegally parked vehicle. To proactively address this problem, some jurisdictions have used undercover police officers who disguised themselves as drivers and parked their cars in private territory for “special operations.” When the trailer pulled up to the vehicle from which the officer was to be taken away, the undercover officer returned and demanded that their vehicle be released free of charge. If the tow truck driver refuses and drives away with the vehicle, they would be arrested for violating local or state regulations. So, is towing legal? As you already understood, not always. Always check the driver’s documents and in no case provide any details about your car. If they are asking for too much money, call the main office and clarify the real amount (if the company is legal).
How to Report a Bandit Towing Company?
Is a tow truck towing a car illegally? If yes, you need to report about it. You can call the following places:
- LAPD Tow Complaint hotline;
- NICB hotline.
Always check phones on official websites.
When you were a victim of a scam, it can erode your trust. Try to think reasonably in any situation and not make hasty decisions. Thank you for reading the article to the end. See you very soon on the pages of our blog!
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