Tow truck companies out for your money

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When cars collide or you break down, the scene can become chaotic or emotional but it's the perfect time to get taken advanage of by towing companies.

Last July, Nancy Dempsey's son was in a three-car pile-up.  He wasn't hurt, but his car was a wreck.  Nancy says, "I looked around and I saw all these people and I asked who they were.  My son said they were tow truck drivers."

At least five were on the scene within minutes. However, Nancy says that not one was called by cops or roadside assistance.  They're known as "private" or "unauthorized" tow trucks. 

Frank Scafidi is with the National Insurance Crime Bureau and says there are plent of cheats out there.  "They convince the driver that they need to take thier car to thier yard or to thier storage facility."

But then, tow truck drivers end up charging astronomical fees, leaving drivers paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars. "There is a steady increase in inflated towing or towing storage bills," Scafidi says.

Allstate Insurance is so concerned about the issue, they sent out a consumer warning recently warning motorists to watch out.

To make sure you're not taken advantage of, ask the tow driver for a printed price list.  Also, make sure any documents are not left blank and that the documents provided match the same signage as on the truck.

3 On Your side attempted to contact The Towing and Recovery Association of America to respond however, we never heard back.