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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
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Multi-million dollar grant to investigate auto-insurance fraud

"Swoop-and-squats" involve two cars blocking in a targeted vehicle.


Stagers target luxury cars in hopes of higher insurance coverage.
Stagers target luxury cars in hopes of higher insurance coverage.
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones presented a $6.9 million check on Monday to Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey to fund the investigation and prosecution of auto-insurance fraud rings.

Lacey warned drivers to be aware of staged car crashes. These premeditated collisions are called "swoop-and-squat." Undercover LAPD officers did a live demonstration of these staged collisions.

The scheme involves two vehicles who work together to box in the targeted vehicle and force a collision.

Schemers usually pick up people in front of fast food restaurants and give them $50-$100 to be drivers.

Stagers tend to target luxury and government vehicle as these cars have a higher likelihood of insurance coverage.

Los Angeles County makes up 43% of auto-related insurance fraud, the highest of any county in California.

Last year, the Department of Insurance received nearly eight-thousand suspected auto-fraud claims.

If asked to be a part of this organized crime, report it to the police immediately.

And if you think you're a victim of a staged collision, document as much information as possible and insist on a police report.

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