January , 2019

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CHICAGO, IL – Motorists traveling this summer face the possibility of a break down or an accident. They also face the possibility of being scammed by a “tow truck bandit”. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) says looking for red flags can keep you out of trouble.

It is difficult to be patient when looking for help after an accident or break down. There are dishonest towing operators, aka bandit tow trucks, which use drivers in need of help to benefit their wallets. The tow truck drivers offer people help with their car but then end up charging hefty fees for their services. Taking the time to find a legitimate tow truck business is worth the wait.

“In too many businesses, there are dishonest operations that take advantage of consumers in stressful situations, ” said Steve Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Ensure that the business is legitimate and read the fine print before making any decision.”

The BBB offers the following tips to avoid tow truck scams:

  • Be wary of unsolicited help. Don’t deal with tow truck operators who arrive on the scene unannounced. Don’t allow the operator to take your vehicle until you are given a printed invoice. This should include a listing of towing and daily storage fees.
  • Use the police as a resource. If there is a crash, call the police, and only accept help from tow trucks that are contacted by the police. If the police get a truck to tow your vehicle, don’t sign any additional paperwork from the company, as this could allow the company to add extra fees.
  • Know the cost. Ask upfront what the tow will cost and get pricing in writing.
  • Use the vehicle’s Assist call button. Many newer cars are equipped with an emergency call button that quickly connects you with a call center that can dispatch pre-approved service assistance.
  • Don’t give out personal information. It is dangerous to provide insurance information to tow truck companies, since bandit tow truck operators could use this information for scams.
  • Choose where your car gets towed. Have your car towed to your home or at a repair shop of your choice. This prevents additional fees. Some scam artists take cars to an impound lot instead of a repair shop, which can result in extra storage fees.
  • Use your smartphone. Go to bbb.org to find an accredited towing company that you can trust.

For more information, visit bbb.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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