More victims say they were sold fake insurance and had cars towed

On Wednesday FOX 2 brought you the story of a local woman who had been sold fake car insurance.

Her vehicle was taken by a multi jurisdictional task force for fraudulent insurance which made her feel as if she was victimized twice, with a felony charge possible.

After FOX 2's story aired, there was a huge response from dozens of other car owners who lost money in the scam, which not only fooled them, but the Secretary of State as well.

"He said well unfortunately, you have fraudulent insurance on it, I said no I don't," Tracey Rodriguez said.

It's a scenario in metro Detroit that we've learned is becoming far too common. Rodriguez is like countless people who believe they are part of an insurance scam. 

They have their proof of insurance from Progressive and tabs and registration approved by the Secretary of State.

Then the Cobra Auto Theft Task Force made up of Highland Park, Hamtramck and Ecorse police tows their cars away, claiming their insurance is fraudulent.

"This is a nightmare," Rodriguez said. "I have four kids to get to and from  school you cannot take my vehicle."

Despite having proof of insurance, Tracy, the woman we showed you Wednesday night and many others found out their policy was never paid by who they learned was a bogus agent.

They claim the task force, which impounded their vehicles, blame them and try to get them to admit to insurance fraud, which is a felony.

"I said this sounds like I committed identity theft," Rodriguez said. "And he said well you did. I said no I didn't and I'm not signing this."

Rodriguez fought it, but the only way she could get her car back, is she signed a settlement waiving her rights and paid $345 to the task force and $445 to get her car from B&G Towing in Detroit.

And she footed the bill for a new insurance policy.

"I think I just got my car stolen from me and had to pay a bunch of money to get it back," Rodriguez said. "There are cops I can't fight with, what am I supposed to do?"

FOX 2 had plenty of questions for the auto theft task force, including  why victims are being blamed and why some are charged with felonies and forced to pay boatloads of money to get their cars back.

All we were told this was part of a larger ongoing investigation.

The Secretary of State says they have received several similar customer complaints and are looking into it.. But ultimately, they blame the bogus insurance agent.

So does Progressive Insurance, who says it's become a rampant issue.

Fraudsters act as sham insurance agents and set up real insurance policies for unsuspecting consumers. But with invalid forms of payment. the policies are then canceled, which makes the fraud very hard to detect.

Progressive claims it is working closely with law enforcement and the Secretary of State.

It advises consumers to only deal with licensed insurance agents - a lesson Rodriguez and so many others, learned the hard way.

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