What does teen street racing have to do with fraud, you ask?

Besides being a very dangerous "sport," and being illegal, it's expensive.

The kids want VTEC engines with turbo, high dollar modifications for nitrous fuel, and exhaust systems to handle them. They want fancy wheels, air dams, decals, special headlights, special taillights, a cool paint job, and, of course, a great stereo system.

If mom or dad are not willing to dole out the dollars for these expensive modifications or junior does not have a really great job (or trust fund), this is where the fraud comes into play.

To get their car "up to speed," insurance claims are filed for theft of stereos or wheels & tires, etc. Vandalism claims are submitted to get new (fancy) paint jobs. Disreputable performance, stereo or body shops are willing to assist by providing false receipts, as well as training on how to file false claims! These claims help pay the high cost of customization.

After the car has been tricked out, it's race time!

Street racing has become extremely popular with teens throughout the US and a nightmare for law enforcement. Innocent people have sometimes been caught up in the racing, resulting in accidents causing death or serious injury.

To keep up appearances, and because each subsequent fraud seems like less of a moral dilemma to the teenager, more fraudulent claims are filed for hit and run accidents (they did the hitting and running), false total theft claims (when the engine burns up), or even staged accidents

Insurance carriers have caught on and more and more of these claims are being identified.

If your son or daughter has a tricked out car and has been having lots of bad luck lately involving insurance claims -- or if you are a teenager who is in any way involved in what we have described above, STOP IT. Not only will your premium increase (if you are not canceled), but those costs are spread out to every other policyholder in your state.

Worse yet ... people DIE.