You may have recently have read about the claim farming experience of one of the journalist’s at ABC News (http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-13/racq-scam-cold-callers-ring-abc-offering-compensation/9986418?pfmredir=sm).
For the uninitiated “claim farming” is when a member of the public receives a cold-call or email from a “claim farmer”, enquiring about whether that person has had a motor vehicle accident. The claim farmer offers to assist them in preparing and submitting a CTP claim regardless of whether an injury occurred as a result of the accident.
The claim farmer often entices possible claimants to submit claims by guaranteeing or advising the claimant of a set figure that they would be entitled to.
Once a person has confirmed their details and agrees to submit a claim, the claim farmer provides their personal details to a third party, typically a lawyer or law firm, who then allegedly pays the claim farmer a set fee for providing the referral.
Claim farming is not new but we recently heard a story that has taken it to a new level.
A colleague received a phone call from a Sydney number (details obtained and will be passed onto MAIC) with the usual story from the claim farmer that my colleague could obtain a payout. The call was terminated after my colleague told the caller he was not interested. A short time later he started receiving call after call with each caller saying they had missed a call from his mobile number. They all said that they had received calls about whether they wanted to make a claim arising from a motor vehicle accident.
Our colleague reported this to his service provider who have in turn reported it to Scamwatch as well as commencing an investigation themselves. He has been advised by his service provider that the scammers will use his mobile number to contact a call list. Annoyingly for him he has been told to turn off his phone for the time being.
What should you do if you are contacted by a claim farmer?
If you are contacted by a claim farmer, you should make detailed records of where they are calling from (if they disclose that information) and their contact number, before ending the call as soon as possible. At no point should you give out your personal details to the caller.
You should then contact the Motor Accident Insurance Commission on 1300 302 568, via the website, www.maic.qld.gov.au or by email to email@example.com who can help you to determine the validity of the call. It is also recommended that you obtain legal advice on the call from an experienced lawyer practicing in the area of personal injury law as they will be able to tell the difference between a call from a genuine insurer who is trying to progress your claim and a claim farmer.
If you suspect that you have been contacted by a claim farmer and are unsure of what to do next, please contact us on 1800 726 676 for advice.
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