Protect yourself from "windshield bullies" - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Protect yourself from "windshield bullies"

By Gray Hall - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – If they haven't already approached you -- they could soon. State Police say Windshield Bullies are on the prowl. They could be lurking in your neighborhood, a carwash or at the local gas station.

Sgt. J.C. Miers, with the Virginia State Police is all to familiar with the pitch of Windshield Bullies. If you are approached by one -- here's what Miers says you might here. "I can replace your glass it is not going to cost you anything it's all going to come out of your insurance policy. All I need is your name your address, your policy number and we will take care of it and I will replace your windshield." he said.

These scam artists are called windshield bullies because they use aggressive tactics to get you to believe you need repair work done to your windshield. Miers says, "It's kind of like buying a mink coat off the rack in a pickup truck in an alley in New York City, it's a sham job from the get go."

Not only are these Windshield Bullies aggressive with their pitch -- State Police say some of them will go as far targeting neighborhoods and breaking windows to get your money. "They will come out and tap the windshield, crack it and say oh, look your windshield is cracked. We are going through the neighborhood and there was a wind storm or a gravel truck that came through here and there are bunch of other people with the same problem," Miers said.

Even if your windshield is damaged -- police say don't fall for the deception of a sales person showing up to your door or stopping you in a parking lot. Miers says, "This is a case of buyer beware, if it sounds to good to be true it is, if you have any questions go to a reputable glass dealership."

Not only are consumers at risk of losing money -- but police say crooks could install the window improperly or use defective glass. "Your windshield could shatter, a larger object could come in and strike the passenger of the vehicle. The windshield could fail in and of it self just because of wind pressure," Miers said. Police say the best protection if you're approached by one of these bullies -- just say no.

If you are approached by one of these criminals you can report it to the State Police Insurance Fraud Program. You can also contact State Police, that number is 1-877-62FRAUD (623-7283). If possible, police say try to get the person's license plate number as well.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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