Ever felt cheated? ‘Spoofing’ warning.

Well, I am on a roll today. Thought I would share my story as a warning not to get involved with accident management companies. In April this year, we had a car accident when a guy who was not driving too carefully crashed into my car, spinning it 180 into oncoming traffic. In a panic to sort it out, whilst the ambulance and police were there helping us, I googled the number of my insurers. It was a Sunday, and the customer services was shut, but there was a 24 hour helpline at the top under the name of my insurers. I got through, they had my details when I gave them the make of the car and an address, and I asked if they were my insurers, and they replied yes, they were a legal assist customer services who worked for a number of insures including mine, and they were now putting me through, with a password so no bogus callers could trick me. Long story but I believed it was all arranged by my insurers, who sent a hire car, recovered my written off car, and took it to a garage locally. The next thing I heard after a disappointing delay, was a short email from a company called Horizon, asking for my bank details to pay me as the car was a write off.

Naturally, I called the number and they said they had the engineer’s report and worked for my insurers. They then emailed the sum of money I would get. It seems good, so I checked with the original number I called, all the time regularly asking if they were the name of my real insurer. I did get some money, but it was very delayed, causing me to complain to my insurers, and find out I had been what they called ‘spoofed.’ Accident management companies are getting similar numbers to real insurers so when you google, they are at the top of the listing and you take them on , not even realising. I am not the only one – there are hundreds who have suffered, and received shoddy service, from they Horizon alone. See trustpilot! https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.horizonvm.com These reviews are not great. Anyway, My real insurer knew all about it, but failed to warn customers! If you are panic stricken by the side of the road, you don’t always think clearly. Some people got in touch with me to tell me they are left with bills of thousands of pounds that they were not told about. Luckily for me, I record every last minute detail of every communication. I have over 250 pages proving I was owed the money and I had no costs myself.

After 5 months, I managed to get nearly all the money they said they would pay me- after about 100 calls, emails and arguments. They are so rude! I last heard in June that they would pay the last £172 they owe me, but I said I would first take it to the ombudsman to check them out. I have since been advised to accept that offer in the first instance to avoid more hassle really. So I have, but of course, they have ignored me. I may be paid what I am owed without the small claims court. Doesn’t help other people falling prey to them though, does it?

So all you good people, share this far and wide – always carry your real insurers details or go home, and call them then. Do not google their number in haste. Check it is all real. Let’s try to put these ‘legitimate thieves’ out of business!

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