How it works:
- Drivers of old cars intentionally bang into your car so as to claim damages.
Places to beware:
What to do:
- Stay alert and make sure to have a functioning in-car camera.
How it works:
Places to beware:
What to do:
On a recent trip to Sicily: Lost in Enna and with limited Italian, we asked a man on the side of the road for directions. He told us to turn around at the bus stop down the road. As I was about to pull back out into the street, he came swiftly down the street on his motorcycle, and dumped it about 8-10 meters up the street from us.
Seeing the bike out of the corner of my eye, I stopped before going out onto the street. The bike slid past the car about 2 meters away. The rider then got up limping and yelling and trying to claim that his crash was my fault.
My best guess is that the rider was trying to create an “accident” as part of a scam. If so, he needs more practice and a less cautious driver.
We spent about 30 minutes helping the police fill out an incident report which basically said that we had witnessed an accident. The police made a point of stating that there was no contact, then gave us very good directions for our intended destination.
Something similar happened to us yesterday.
We were driving back to our base in Syracuse from the nature reserve 30 mins away. Having spent a lovely afternoon on the beach, going for a swim and walking, we just set and a few hundred yards down the road there was a car parked at the side of the road (not the place to park on the single track country road).
I passed the car with what I thought was plenty of room and as we passed we heard the thud (dull bang at the side off the car), well I thought we must have clipped wing mirrors though it wasn’t the kind of noise you would expect from a wing mirror collision but I thought to myself it couldn’t have been anything else.
Anyway, I didn’t stop as I wasn’t sure but the guy (who was stood at the back of his car at the time) sped after us and signalled us off the road, to which I obliged.
So moments later I get out of the car and he was polite , dicn’t speak any Engish at all but signalled that we had broken his wing mirror and indicated we should pay him some cash to avoid police and insurance. He didn’t mention an amount at this time and we shrugged our shoulder jesticulating that we had very little money and disputed that we couldn’t have done it.
But he pointed to a black line of plastic type of smudge down the side of the car as evidence that we had hit his wing mirror and showed us the damage, so confused, I foolishly went to show that I had little money in my wallet (only 30 euros I thought I had even less) but he more or less said to give him that and he would accept it to pay for damage and avoid calling police etc), I gave it to him just to get rid of him. I was then surprised how quickly he just jumped back into his car and sped off before we had even got back into our car.
We wondered if we had been scammed at all, and how did that black line get down the rear passenger side of the car ? It was like an uneven black line of plastic smudge (almost tar like substance). Surely if we had hit his wing mirror the impact would have damaged our wing mirror too not the rear side of the car. We wondered if he could have daubed that black stuff on the car as he got out his car behind us and clearly scammed us.?!
This happened to us in Sicily – on the road between Ispica and Pachino. Driver kept trying to get us off the main road away from people – showing affected concern for the dangerous traffic conditions. We got caught out and are now incredulous that we fell for it. Just want to warn others.
Whilst travelling to Pisa Airport on the motorway we thought a stone had hit the passenger window although there was no vehicle near us to have caused this. We think this was probably a catapult or some such propeller.
After this a car overtook us, pointing to our car and beeping his horn. He pulled into the next layby and signalled that we should do likewise. The passenger approached our car alongside the our passenger door claiming we had broken his wing mirror and claiming you could see the damage that had occurred on the side of our car.
My husband who was driving got out and went to the scam vehicle parked some way behind us where the driver in the car showed him a broken wing mirror and a website on his ‘phone saying a replacement would cost E600.
You pay cash he shouted – and at this point my husband said he wasn’t paying anything as we hadn’t collided with anyone and walked back to our car and we pulled away. They came up behind us again but when we left the motorway we lost them.
When we checked our car on stopping there was a black ink line along the side of our car which had obviously been put on as the scammer approached us in the lay-by. It rubbed off with a tissue.
It doesn’t help that hire cars are often easy to pick out because the hire companies mark them as such in some way. We had a smiley face sticker on the back window. So just beware.