Be on the Lookout for Wreck-Chasing Tow Trucks

Tow operators and their trucks are a godsend when your vehicle’s been in an accident or otherwise disabled. Most are trustworthy and provide a valuable service.

But as with everything in life, there are a few bad apples in the bunch. There are renegade towers that arrive at the scene and try to intercept your vehicle before the police-dispatched tow truck arrives.

These “wreck chasers” try to take advantage of the stressful situation you’re in and pressure you to sign forms — often with cost details left blank — and then haul your vehicle off to points unknown.

How to Make Sure Your Tower Is Legit

If you’ve been in an accident and your car is disabled, take these precautions to protect yourself from inflated expenses and complications:

  1. Make sure your tow operator was dispatched by the police.
  2. Take charge of the situation. Ask for identification like a business card with company name, address and phone number, then provide your insurance company with the information.
  3. Write down the tow truck’s license plate number or take photos of any identifying information on it.
  4. Don’t sign any towing slip unless fees have been filled in!
  5. If police have not responded to your accident or if the tower has not provided the info you’ve requested, call back to 911 and tell them you are not comfortable with the tower and ask for them to assist at your location

Keep this information at your fingertips. Download a copy and save it to your phone or print it out and keep it in your glovebox.

When an accident occurs, protect yourself by knowing your tow.