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Drivers in accidents need to be wary of collision scammers

Reported by: Fatima Rahmatullah
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Updated: 5/08 4:14 pm

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews 3) -- Scammers are targeting people who have just been in a car accident. Today Nevada Highway Patrol sent a rip-off alert to drivers.

NHP says con artists are trying to take advantage of Metro’s new accident response policy to gather personal information from drivers involved in fender-benders.

If you get into a fender-bender, you usually call 9-1-1 and police arrive to take a report.

That's not what happened when troopers arrived at a Las Vegas valley crash scene Monday night. They saw a man who said he had a contract with police to investigate crashes.

"There was another individual there on scene who identified himself to these drivers as being an investigator," said NHP Trooper Loy Hixson.

Since March 3, Metro has not been responding to non-injury crashes and scammers are taking advantage.

One man said he'd been dispatched by a local agency to respond to the accident. He had an official form to take an accident report and a business card with an official looking seal.

"He had possession of both drivers documents, driver’s license, their registration and their insurance forms, which of course exposed these drivers their personal history along with their addresses," Hixson said.

He was in an unmarked car with no uniform and troopers say the man does not work for any government agency they know of.

"We will be in uniform; we will have a badge, and we are required to carry our ID with us identifying that we are police officers, along what agency we are currently employed with," Hixson said.

When troopers dialed the phone number from the business card it was disconnected. NHP later learned it went to a prepaid cell phone with no local contract.

"They somehow knew the accident occurred," Hixson said. "They came on scene actually - even had a second vehicle, a second individual come on scene saying the exact same thing. They were there to investigate that accident because the police were no longer responding to accidents."

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