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Texas Department of Insurance
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Don’t fall victim to a towing scam

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Be wary if a tow truck driver asks to tow your car to a specific repair shop after an accident. You could end up with a hefty bill.

Normally, after an accident, police call a towing company to take your car to a car storage lot or a repair shop that you choose. But in a towing scam, here’s what happens:

  • A tow truck driver shows up without being called by you or police.
  • The tow truck driver recommends that you take your car to a specific shop.
  • Later, you get a bill for thousands of dollars for storage and other fees. And that’s when you figure out the tow truck driver and repair shop worked together to scam you.

How to protect yourself

  1. Drive your car home if it’s safe to drive. If you can’t drive it, tell the tow truck driver to take your car to a car storage lot or to a shop that you choose. Don’t let the driver talk you into taking your car someplace else.
  2. Make sure the tow truck driver is the one you or police called.
  3. Carefully read anything the tow truck driver asks you to sign. Make sure you know where the driver is taking your car. Get a receipt that shows the towing fee.
  4. Know what your insurance covers. If you have collision and comprehensive coverage, your policy will pay reasonable towing and storage fees. If you have liability only coverage, you’ll have to pay the towing and storage bill yourself. If the other driver caused the accident, the other driver’s insurance company might pay reasonable towing and storage fees.

What to do if this happens to you

If you think you’ve been a victim of this scam, report it to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). TDLR regulates tow truck companies and car storage lots in Texas. You should also call your local police department.

Question? Call us at 800-252-3439.

Last updated: 7/14/2022