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Mercury Insurance Intentionally Crashes Cars to Fight Fraud

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Jan. 20, 2015—The Mercury Insurance Special Investigation Unit (SIU) demonstrated how fraudsters fake crashes to try to cheat the system at a recent event in Glendale, Calif.

The event was held for nearly 120 police, fire and EMT personnel. Mercury's SIU is a customer advocacy group dedicated to fighting insurance fraud, as it is one of the most common types of white collar crimes.

"We chose Glendale because the average driver in this area will report an accident once every three years, which is significantly more often than the statewide five-year average," Mercury Insurance SIU national director Dan Bales, said in a release. "Our goal is to keep innocent people from falling victim to tactics such as the swoop and squat or the drive-down, which cost the average family up to $700 in insurance premiums annually."

Mercury's SIU has 37 years of experience exposing fraudulent auto, home and medical claims, and has been involved in more than 40,000 investigations, which have saved Mercury policyholders hundreds of millions of dollars. Its crash events aim to make streets safer for motorists by sharing insight of automotive fraud with law enforcement who can remove criminals from California motorways.

"This vehicle crash seminar held by Mercury Insurance helps our detectives and police officers to identify when individuals report fraudulent collision claims," Glendale traffic Sgt. Craig Tweedy, said in a release. "By educating our officers about the tactics criminals make, we'll be better at combating automotive insurance fraud."

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