Have you received a phone call asking about a personal injury?
If so, these “claims harvesters” purchase your details (likely stolen or illegally obtained) and then call you to confirm they are valid, before selling it on illegally to dodgy and desperate law firms. Unfortunately these cold callers are on the increase and you should be aware of what to do if they call you
Claim farming appears to have started in the United Kingdom many years ago
Sadly the practice is now rampant across Australia and other countries. The Queensland Law Society have lobbied about the issue, but as yet, there are still no concrete plans put in place to combat these cold callers.
Many of the calls you may receive may not have an Australian accent. However the organisation behind these calls all generally originate from the UK, USA and Australia, who use low cost employees to do their dirty work and hide their tracks.
Do not engage with cold callers – download and share our Infographic and warn others
Once they have your details, as said, they sell this to unscrupulous Law firms for a fee. These firms (who have just broken the law) then call you and try to make big promises of massive amounts of compensation to you. Most of which is only to recoup the fee they just paid the claim farmer for your details.
We’ve provided a useful cold call warning infographic with some tips and helpful information further below. Please feel free to share and post elsewhere and help stop this illegal practice.
Many illegal cold callers fraudulently pose as reputable law firms
Most cold callers often will lie and be vague about their company name, perhaps even posing as reputable law firms like ourselves, and enquire vaguely if you have had an accident recently. In Queensland, Australia this is an illegal practice but many use offshore call centres, shell companies or other methods to circumvent regulations. Again do not engage, and use our tips and infographic to avoid this illegal activity.
New MAIC data shows the positive impact of car crash scamming reforms
New data released by the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) is helping eradicate dodgy calls. David Vincent, General Manager at MAIC, says the decrease in reports is an excellent sign that the Legislative reforms are having an effect, but people must remain alert.
Since introducing the new car crash scamming legislation in December 2019, MAIC has investigated 35 car crash scamming complaints.
“Complaints from Queensland motorists lodged on our MAIC website about car crash scammers have continued to trend down from more than 1,300 complaints in 2019, to now only 236 car crash scams reported as at August 31, 2020,” Mr Vincent said.
Before MAIC introduced the car crash scammer legislation, it was reported that more than 1.5 million Queenslanders had been targeted by relentless car crash scamming phone calls, including vulnerable Queenslanders who were particularly susceptible to the aggressive scam tactics.
What do I do if I get strange phone calls about my injury?
NEVER give cold callers any of your personal details!
You are putting your claim, and yourself at risk just by engaging with any cold callers.
Just as you would in any other situation where you do not know the caller, simply do not engage with the firm or give any details of any kind that you don’t need to.
As Motor Vehicle accidents are very common, they are often a big target for cold callers. If you receive a call from them, we’ll be more than happy to take the number that rang you and ensure we raise it with appropriate authorities such as the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) or others to try stop this bad practice.
Be careful what you share, and with whom you share your details with
For many years we’ve helped a lot of clients and so we know all too well just how these claim farmers and illegal dealers work. They farm your details from nefarious sources, dodgy deals and illegal practices.
Sadly even some large law firms such as Slater & Gordon have become involved with an illegal practice on mobile apps such as HealthEngine. This phone app was sharing your details to that law firm without making it very clear to you, that your injury information would be sold off to them.
Even popular apps such as Facebook have been caught globally numerous times leaking out your private information. So it’s best to avoid giving, or sharing details, to any services outside your bank, family, your Lawyer etc.
Being careful of what companies do with your information is even more important today
Having your claim represented by these dodgy firms will do you no favours and so it’s important you know the difference between a good law firm and a bad one.
Look for clearly written and easily accessible privacy and disclaimer policiesas well as Google reviews of the firm that look realistic and not fake. Facebook reviews are a lot easier to fake so are less reliable.
It’s a dead giveaway really, reputable firms like ourselves NEVER make cold calls
We never sell your details, and we have never, and will never, cold call people. We don’t need to, and would not sell our integrity away.
It’s just not how you stay in business for decades and build up a good reputation with happy clients.
If you’re unsure about a dodgy call, claim, or someone saying they are us when they are not, chat, call or email us immediately and we’ll do our best to investigate and report it for you.
Some useful background reading on these cold callers was prepared by the ABC which includes a real transcript of a Queensland motor accident scam call.
What should I do when a cold caller asks for my details?
The best thing to do is take any details you can from them such as their number and name, then simply hang up. Then block the number and do not engage with them refuse them any other details.
Never give any personal details to ANY cold-callers ever, good firms just don’t cold call you!
If they say they are The Personal Injury Lawyers (they won’t be as we don’t make cold calls!) take the number, hang up, and call us immediately on 1800 958 498 and we’ll report it for you.
It’s good advice to also block the number which is easy to do if you are on an Android phone or if you use an Apple device.
Please share this warning & information with others
Cold calling is rampant and ruining the industry for you and good firms. So please share this warning and information with others where you see fit, on social media using our share buttons on this page, or by email etc.
With your help we can make this illegal and damaging practice disappear. You may also find this site by the Queensland government useful for protecting yourself against cold callers and scams.