Tow Truck Service

Tow Truck Service Scams And How To Recognize Them?

In these common towing scams, dishonest tow truck service operators tow away more than illegally parked vehicles.

Everyone recognizes that the majority of tow truck drivers are honest and hardworking individuals. When your car breaks down or is involved in an accident, they come to your rescue and transport it to the location you specify.

Tow truck services also remove illegally parked vehicles from city streets and private parking lots, which is a valuable service. Parking spaces are becoming increasingly scarce, and business owners must make them accessible for customers. If there is nowhere to park, illegal parking will damage a business’s income.

Towing, as you can see, is a legal company that caters to the needs of its customers. So, what’s the big deal with towing scams and “bandit” tow truck drivers?

“Bandit” tow operators are distinct from legitimate tow operators in their practice of monitoring private parking lots in order to tow away vehicles whose owners are not patrons of the businesses associated with that lot. By spotting these types of companies, how do you avoid being a target? More information can be found in this blog post.

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Here Are The Types Of Tow Truck Services Scams

The Perfect Coincidence

You may find a tow truck service that luckily happens to be in your area where your car broke down and might think yourself lucky, it is not so. This is also known as steering. If you break down on the side of the road, do not let a towing company take your car unless you have requested it. Although it will sound like a big relief when the tow truck arrives, it is most likely a scam if you did not call them. A company spotter most likely noticed you and your car and alerted the tow truck driver. You will have to pay exorbitant fees to get your car back if you hand over your keys and allow them to take it.
When a tow truck driver comes across an accident (they sometimes track police scanners) and attempts to persuade you to tow your vehicle to a shop in which they’ve partnered. In most nations, steering is prohibited.

Towing Scams in the Parking Lot

Towing companies illegally tow cars parked in shopping centre parking lots or on private property is another popular towing scam. This is also referred to as satellite towing or patrol towing. A tow truck driver can again use a spotter to tow vehicles that are illegally parked on private property. If time is running out, this could be an apartment complex parking lot or a paid parking space. The car owner would then pay storage fees, towing fees, and other fees to get their vehicle back.

Fees, Fees and More Fees

Some tow truck services and companies can charge release fees, gate fees, and other fees in addition to towing and storage fees, many of which are illegal. Customers need their vehicles and trust the towing business, so these predatory towing companies operate under that presumption. In reality, the vast majority of people would pay all charges and fees without hesitation. This is why knowing your rights when it comes to predatory towing is crucial. Be aware and don’t let these tow truck companies charge you more than what is right!

High-End Automobiles

Another popular towing con is to target vehicles whose owner appears to have the financial means to pay. These towing companies aren’t interested in battered older vehicles. They also don’t want high-end cars like Porsches or Mercedes because they don’t want to be held liable for any harm. Instead, they focus on the newer model, everyday market vehicles.

Inflated Fees

If a tow truck company charges premiums that exceed the insurance company’s coverage limits and then insists that you pay the difference, it is known as inflated fees. If you think a tow truck company is inflating its rates, you can contact your insurance company.

Patrol Towing

If a tow truck driver has a spotter on the lookout for illegally parking vehicles, this is known as patrol towing. The operator (also known as a “bandit”) is notified by the spotter, who tows the car to an impound lot, where you might be charged inflated or unreasonable fees.

You are the One in Control

Towing companies cannot force you to drive to a specific location without your permission. A good tow truck service will ask where you want your car towed and will only recommend a location if you ask for it. Before allowing the tow truck driver to tie your car to their truck, you can inquire about fees and costs. Better still, get a contract and an itemized list of all fees and costs before your car is towed, and get the price in writing. That’s what there is to it. The bottom line is that if you break down, you can never hand over your keys to a tow truck driver who has just arrived. There’s a chance you’ll be saddled with more than just a repair bill.

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Tow Truck Scams: How to Avoid Them

Be aware of the most popular tow truck scams used by amateur service providers before your car breaks down, needs a tyre repair, or gets into a serious crash on a residential lane. Here’s how to escape a vexing, costly, and potentially dangerous scenario.

  • Be aware of the towing laws in your area.
  • You can never leave the property of a company where you are parking. I know it’s easier said than done, but if a bandit tow truck operator is keeping an eye on the parking lot, your car could be hooked up and towed away in minutes.
  • If you believe you have been the victim of a towing scam, file a police report. You’ll be out hundreds of millions if you just let it go, and the bandit tower will continue to prey on people. As a result, do your part to combat these scams by filing a police report!

Tow Truck Scams: How to Combat Them

Other precautions you should take to fight tow truck scams include:

Choose your preferred body store.

Don’t let a tow truck driver lead you to a repair shop. They’re probably connected to the shop and trying to make a quick buck. Call another tow truck company if a tow truck driver refuses to take your vehicle to your preferred repair shop.

Make use of credit cards.

A tow truck business that only accepts cash could be part of shady activity.

Take pictures.

Take pictures of the accident scene, including the tow truck, with your cameras.

If you were towed for “illegal parking,” request pictures.

In several states, a tow truck driver is required to take a picture of your car to prove that it was parked illegally.

Object to the fee.

Towing and storage costs are negotiated between the towing company and the local police in some jurisdictions. Check with the police department if you believe you have been overcharged.

Make a formal complaint.

If you believe you’ve been taken advantage of by a shady tow truck driver, contact your insurance provider and the police department in your area.

Recognize your rights!

If you feel like you are the victim of a tow truck driver, keep these details in mind:

  • Until the car is in transit on a public highway, the tow operator does not have a valid lien on it.
  • If your car is already on the tow truck but still parked in the lot, the tow truck driver will charge you half of what an official police garage would charge for towing.
  • If you refuse or are unable to pay the requested amount, the matter becomes a civil matter, and the tow truck operator is required to release your car.
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How to Safeguard Yourself

  • If it’s possible to do so, drive your car home. Tell the tow truck driver to take your vehicle to a car storage lot or a shop of your choice if you are unable to drive it. Don’t let the driver persuade you to go somewhere else.
  • Make sure the tow truck driver is the same one that was sent by you or the police.
  • Read what the tow truck driver asks you to sign carefully. Make sure you know where your car is being driven. Obtain a receipt that details the towing charge.
  • Make sure you understand what the insurance policy covers. Your insurance would cover fair towing and storage costs if you have an accident and extensive coverage. If you only have a liability policy, you’ll be responsible for the towing and storage costs. If the accident was caused by the other driver, the other driver’s insurance policy will be responsible for fair towing and storage costs.

To sum it all, there can be many reasons your check engine light may go off. That being said, there are many different ways and steps that you can take when you face the same situation. Or you can contact Austow for towing services in Australia. Austow is one of the most trusted and reliable names in Tow truck services!