Vehicle Theft Fraud

Over the years, thieves have gotten far more sophisticated about their approaches to stealing cars and trucks. Today, they have developed complex schemes and techniques that don't involve smashing in windows or hot-wiring ignitions.

Some of the more common theft fraud schemes are as follows:

  • An "Owner Give-Up" is when a vehicle owner will lie about its theft and then destroy it such as through burning, submerging, or burying it. Once it is located, the owner collects the vehicle's replacement cost.
  • A "30-Day Special" is when an owner claims the vehicle was stolen and then hides the vehicle for 30 days, long enough for the insurance company to pay the claim. Once the owner collects the money, the vehicle is typically found abandoned.
  • The owner buys a car and then reports the vehicle stolen when in fact he or she has it shipped it overseas to sell it on the black market. The owner then collects on the insurance policy and earns money selling the vehicle as well. This is known as "Export Fraud".
  • A person creates a false title and/or registration and insures what amounts to a phantom vehicle. The "owner" then reports the phony car or "Phantom Vehicle" as stolen and files an insurance claim.