Charges in Organized Crime Investigation in Tow Truck Industry

IBC Collaboration with Police Leads to Charges

Toronto, ON (May 26, 2020) – Today, investigators with the York Regional Police Organized Crime and Intelligence Services laid charges related to organized-crime for violent property damage, fraud and drug trafficking, as part of an ongoing joint-forces investigation into the tow truck industry, known as Project Platinum. Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is proud to assist and support this ongoing investigation.

“IBC applauds the efforts of all partners involved in this joint-forces investigation, Project Platinum, that resulted in criminal charges being laid,” said Bryan Gast, National Director, Investigative Services, IBC. “Insurance fraud is a safety issue for consumers. Lives can be put at risk as a result of these criminal actions. Insurance fraud costs Canadians in added insurance premiums, and strains our already burdened health care, emergency services and court systems.”

This ongoing investigation has identified several organized crime groups working within the towing industry who have used violence and property damage to gain control and territory within the industry. A number of towing companies have been involved in defrauding insurance companies, using vehicles involved in collisions and staged collisions. These towing companies partnered with auto repair shops, physiotherapy clinics, as well as car and truck rental companies, to carry out this fraud.

Insurance companies, through the auto insurance industry’s dedicated Investigation Coordination and Support Service (consisting of nine Insurer Lead Investigators, each from an IBC member company), worked to mitigate the costs of this fraud, including additional costs to the consumer, and actively pursued legal action against various towing companies.

For more information on the investigation, visit York Regional Police.

IBC and its members work tirelessly to mitigate the risk and cost of insurance fraud. Insurance companies pursue legal action against towing companies that are committing fraud.

IBC wants to help consumers avoid falling victim to insurance fraud. The more people report fraud, the more fraudsters we can bring to justice.

Know Your Tow

If you’ve been in a collision:

  1. Call your insurance representative as soon as possible to report the collision. They can provide helpful, on-the-spot advice on towing options, as well as recommendations of repair and car rental companies.
  2. You have the right to decide who can tow your vehicle and to what location (unless otherwise directed by police).
  3. A permission-to-tow form must be signed, and the towing company must provide an itemized invoice before receiving payment and towing your vehicle.
  4. You are entitled to a receipt for towing services rendered, and you have the option to pay with a debit or credit card.
  5. Decline offers to store your vehicle in a compound yard unless directed by your insurance representative to do so.

Never sign a blank contract or take referrals from towing companies.

For more information, visit Know Your Tow.

If You Suspect Insurance Fraud

In addition to contacting your insurer, you may also:

  • Submit a confidential tip using IBC’s online form
  • Call IBC’s Canada-wide, 24/7/365 TIPS Line at 1-877-IBC-TIPS
  • Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 128,000 Canadians, pays over $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $59.6 billion.

For more information, visit www.ibc.ca. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)

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