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​Staged Traffic Accident Scams and How to Avoid Them

    Behold, citizens, the four horsemen of traffic accident scammers: “Daddy Foot-Stretcher”, the motorcyclist who knocks on your car window and complains that you ran over his foot whilst starting your engine; “Schrödinger’s Passers-by”, who may or may not have rammed your vehicle on purpose while you were doing 10km/h in a narrow alleyway; “Johnny Torpedo”, who definitely aimed for your car door as you were closing it on the side of the road, and finally “Lightning McTaxi”, who is speed and who could have cared less that you were changing lanes according to traffic regulations. These four types of staged road accident scams are the ones most frequently encountered by the TCPD during the last few years, and the public is well-warned to contact the police at once should they meet with similar circumstances.
    The Traffic Division, TCPD, has investigated numerous cases of accident scams through data collected by the “Traffic Accidents Online Processing System”, which utilizes various applications that pinpoint and record prior traffic incidents. For example, through cross-referencing accident data, the Division was able to uncover a series of staged accidents devised by a pair of unscrupulous brothers, who rode around the Shilin, Datong and Wanhua districts of Taipei City, and were involved in multiple traffic accidents. After intense scrutiny of gathered CCTV video surveillance footage, the officers determined that the two men had purposefully stretched out their feet from their scooters and placed them before the front tires of neighboring cars while waiting under the red light. When the light turned green and the vehicles began to move, inevitably run over their toes, these two scammers would then cry out in pain and angrily confront the drivers, demanding compensation ranging from one to two thousand NT dollars, lest they call the police. The scam was only discovered when the authorities deduced that there was something fishy about having your feet run over five times in the same month, and the brothers were promptly put under investigation for charges of fraud.
    The TCPD has, with the help of data analysis software and automated incident reporting systems, uncovered up to 116 cases of fraudulent traffic accidents in the last two years, most of which being intentional ramming incidents aimed at collecting compensation or insurance payments. The TCPD Traffic Division warns all ill-aspiring scammers to abandon their dastardly schemes, and would like to encourage drivers to install video cams on their vehicles so as to preserve evidence in the event of an accident. Finally, the public should be well aware, that while accidents that neither involve injury nor death, and about which the parties involved have reached a compromise on site, need not be overseen by the police (as per the “Regulations Governing Road Traffic Accidents”); should you harbor suspicions as to the nature or origin of an accident, it is always advisable to contact the authorities right away, so as to safeguard your wallet, and more importantly, your rights.