"Swoop and Squat" (1984)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sat Apr 1 17:12:59 UTC 2006

SWOOP AND SQUAT--628 Google hits
An Allstate commercial that was on television just now mentioned "swoop and  
squat." I had posted about "swoop and squat" back in August 2003, but ProQuest 
 citations have it from 1984 (Los Angeles). Perhaps I'll add it to a 
California  version of my "Big Apple" site.
I don't know if "swoop and squat" is being prepared for the revised OED,  but 
its editors need to be involved in more auto accidents. (Just  kidding.)
Auto Insurance Fraud 
Auto accidents sometimes are no accident at all, but a staged production by  
criminals where you are unknowingly and innocently made an actor. Before you  
take to the road, learn to recognize auto accident scams to help prevent you 
and  your family from becoming victims. 
Schemes and Scams 
Swoop and Squat - Two vehicles work as a team to set up an accident.  One 
vehicle pulls in front of an innocent driver and the other alongside,  blocking 
the victim in. The lead car stops short, causing the victim to rear-end  him. 
The car that pulled up alongside serves as a block and prevents the victim  
from avoiding a collision.  
Drive Down - As an innocent driver tries to merge into traffic, the  suspect 
driver yields, waving on the other driver. As this innocent driver  merges, 
the suspect driver intentionally collides with the victim and denies  giving him 
the right of way. 
Start and Stop - Stopped in the same lane of traffic, the suspect's  vehicle 
is positioned directly in front of the victim. The suspect starts to  move 
forward as does the innocent driver. For no reason, the suspect vehicle  suddenly 
stops short, causing the victim to rear-end him. 
Sideswiping in a Two-lane Turn - At an intersection that has two  left turn 
lanes, the suspect crosses the center-line, intentionally sideswiping  the 
victim's car. The suspect then alleges that the victim caused the collision  by 
entering his lane.  
If you have ever been involved in a traffic collision, you know how stressful 
 the experience can be. Imagine the additional stress if you discovered that 
the  accident was actually "set up" or staged, placing you as the party at 
fault.  Staged collisions are criminal conspiracies that usually involve numerous 
 suspects. The victims, other drivers, have been intentionally targeted by 
the  suspect(s) who commit these acts for financial gain. The two most common 
types  of staged collisions are the "Swoop and Squat" and the "Drive Down or 
Wave  On." 
Swoop and Squat  
The "Swoop and Squat" involves two suspects, each driving a separate vehicle. 
 Generally, these suspects target a late model vehicle occupied by a single  
victim, so the victim has no witnesses to the collision. The squat vehicle,  
usually containing two suspects, positions itself in front of the victim’s  
vehicle, slowing to close the gap between the vehicles. The swoop vehicle then  
changes lanes in front of the squat vehicle and stops suddenly, forcing the  
squat vehicle to stop, and subsequently for the victim to rear end the squat  
vehicle. The swoop vehicle then leaves the scene. The suspects in the squat  
vehicle will frequently indicate that an unknown vehicle "came out of nowhere"  
and stopped, forcing them to brake. 
Drive Down (Wave On)  
The "Drive Down" or "Wave On" involves a situation where a targeted vehicle  
does not have the right-of-way and the suspect gestures or "waves" to the  
targeted motorist offering the opportunity to proceed ahead of them. When the  
targeted vehicle proceeds, the suspect purposely drives their vehicle into the  
targeted vehicle creating an accident (staged collision) attempting to make it 
 appear the targeted vehicle is at fault. 
Automobile  Insurance — An insurance fraud term for a type of contrived  
collision. A vehicle pulls into another's path and slams on its brakes,  causing 
the other vehicle to rear-end it. The riders in the front vehicle  then file 
fraudulent claims for whiplash.  
Compare: _squat_ (http://insource.nils.com/gloss/GlossaryTerm.asp?tid=5437)   
     _The Wellsboro Gazette_ 
_Wednesday,  September 04, 1991_ 
(http://www.newspaperarchive.com/Search.aspx?Search="swoop+and+squat"+AND+date:1991-09-04)  _Wellsboro,_ 
...The SWOOP AND SQUAT car usually has several  passengers who will then 
claim phony back AND ...  ..

_The Intelligencer_ 
(http://www.newspaperarchive.com/Viewer.aspx?img=4uFNimLMxoSKID/6NLMW2i/N0wuIy6t+i8XwxXj4c1Y0JIS1Ixd1CUIF+CsZYmrz)  _Sunday,  April 18, 
(http://www.newspaperarchive.com/Search.aspx?Search="swoop+and+squat"+AND+date:1993-04-18)  _Doylestown,_ 
(http://www.newspaperarchive.com/Search.aspx?Search="swoop+and+squat"+AND+cityid:7736+AND+stateid:77)   _Pennsylvania_ 
:77)   ...Also beware  of "SWOOP AND SQUAT" accidents: Perpetrators pull in  
front of another car, ... ..
_Crooks  Get More Clever at Staging Auto Accidents; ACCIDENTS: Crooks Getting 
Better _ 
PATRICIA MANISCO. Los Angeles  Times (1886-Current File). Los Angeles, 
Calif.: Sep 13, 1984. p. SB1 (2  pages) 
First page:
In a seminar this week for the South Bay chapter of Professional Insurance  
Agents, Dinon described the tactics used by professional auto accident  stagers.
One of the most common ploys is termed, in street parlance, "swoop and  
In "swoop and squat," Dinon said, stagers typically use a large, older car  
with existing damage (from previously staged accidents) to act as the squat, or 
 crash car. Piling in up to four or five passengers, the driver begins 
cruising a  well-traveled street, looking for a likely victim.
"This could happen to you as you leave here today," Dinon said, "and if  it's 
done correctly, you'll never guess you were a victim of a staged accident.  
You're driving down Pacific Coast Highway when the driver of the squat car  
positions himself in front of you. Imperceptibly, he narrows the space between  
your car and his until there's maybe less than half a car length between  you.
"Meanwhile, the swoop car is waiting in the next lane to make its move. On  a 
pre-arranged signal, it cuts abruptly in front of the squat car. That car's  
driver slams on the brakes, and you rear-end him. He gets out and says, "Did 
you  see that guy cut me off? I had to stop like that."
Above all, Dinon said, "swoop and squat" is subtle.
_Proceed  With Caution; Drivers Warned of Traps Laid by Scam Artists Who 
Stage Car  Accidents _ 
PATRICIA MANISCO. Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File). Los Angeles, Calif.: 
 Sep 16, 1984. p. WS19 (1 page) 
_Staged-Auto-Wreck  Fraud Thrives Within Affluent Areas Around L.A._ 
PATRICIA MANISCO. Los Angeles Times  (1886-Current File). Los Angeles, 
Calif.: Jul 22, 1985. p. OC_A5 (1 page) 
_Crackdown  on Accidents That Aren't So Accidental; Big Auto Insurers Go on 
the Offensive As  Big Time Fraud Gains Sophistication Crackdown on Accidents 
That Aren't  Accidental _ 
By JOSEPH B. TREASTER. New York Times (1857-Current file). New York, N.Y.: 
Nov 13,  1996. p. D1 (2 pages) 

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