Don’t Fall Victim to Windshield Repair Scams


It seems like scams are everywhere nowadays, especially on the internet. You probably think you’d be able to tell if someone was trying to scam you, but some scammers are pretty well practiced. They’re not always after your money directly. Some target your money indirectly by targeting your auto insurance provider through windshield repair scams, which could end up hurting you in the end.

There are plenty of legitimate windshield repair and replacement businesses out there which would never fall into the category of scammers. This is why it’s a good habit to always research a windshield repair and replacement company before doing business with them. In this article, we’ll tell you what to watch out for if someone who claims to be from a windshield repair company approaches you.

The Scam

The windshield repair scam is one such scheme you should watch out for. Note that there is a difference between legitimate salespeople marketing a business, and shady scammers who won’t tell you who they work for. Here’s what to watch for:

The scammers’ typical tactic is to tell you that your windshield needs to be repaired or replaced when there is no visible damage. You might be unsure, but they’ll tell you that you won’t have to pay a penny. Your insurance provider will take care of it.

The scammers are usually unmarked salespeople posted up at gas stations, car washes or anywhere with lots of vehicle traffic. They usually will not tell you what company they are affiliated with and will not have business cards or clothing with company logos. There will probably not be a obvious brick and mortar or mobile windshield repair company nearby. The salespeople could also be people going door to door, which happened in Florida back in June. A woman reported two men after they showed up at her house claiming that her windshield had water damage.

According to the report by Fox35, the men instructed her to tell her insurance company that the damage is larger than a dollar bill so that the insurance company would waive her $500 deductible. The scammers got as far as ordering a new windshield and even setting up an appointment before the woman saw a Facebook post warning about the scam.

You might not have gone along with them, but many people in this situation would have. After all, they look professional and they seem to know more about windshields than the average person. If a salesperson tells you repeatedly that you won’t have to pay for anything, consider it a yellow flag.

That’s only one version of the scam. According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, scammers could inflate real damages or charge your auto insurer for multiple windshield replacements.

According to a report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB), the number of auto glass questionable claims rose 52.5 percent from 2008 to 2009. The NCIB also reported that there was a 527 percent climb in auto glass fraud between the first half of 2009 to 2010.

These scams can happen anywhere in the U.S.

The Consequences

The scammers may not be taking any money from your bank account, but they are still doing harm, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud

  1. These scammers could be untrained or using low-quality material, which puts you and your family at risk.
  2. The scammers can disappear easily, rendering any warranty they promised useless.
  3. Your auto insurance premium could increase because of the needless claim.
  4. You could lose your claim if several windshield replacements are charged to you auto policy.
  5. Insurance fraud losses get passed down. So even if the scammer doesn’t target you, you could end up paying.

What should you do?

    1. Always deal with a quality company. Consult Glass.com for members of the Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC) and the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA).
    2. Get more than one written estimate before going forward with windshield repairs or replacements.
    3. Don’t accept off-the-book repairs.
    4. Don’t let someone pressure you into letting them do work.
    5. Find a reputable auto glass shop through Glass.com. You don’t want someone untrained or uncertified to do shoddy, unsafe work.
    6. Don’t pay until the work is complete.
    7. If someone approaches you to tell you that your windshield is damaged, question them about their company and experiences. Ask them for references. Don’t trust someone blindly.
    8. The ROLAGS standard shows when repairs are necessary.

Windshield Safety

Chips, cracks and breaks in your windshield can happen. A vehicle could kick up a rock on the highway that ends up damaging your windshield. Extreme temperature changes put stress on your windshield and can make chips or cracks worse.

You shouldn’t ignore these issues. If you need a windshield replacement or repair, use Glass.com to find auto glass replacement reviews and reputable auto glass companies or repair shop near you.

Glass.com attempts to provide accurate information but cannot be held liable for any information provided or omitted.  You should always work with a licensed, insured and reputable glass shop that can assess your specific needs and local building codes and offer professional services. Never attempt to cut, install, or otherwise work with glass yourself. All content is provided on an informational basis only.

© 2020 Glass.com Inc. All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without expressed written permission. Questions? Contact info@glass.com.


Jordan Scott

By Jordan Scott

Jordan Scott serves as the assistant editor for USGlass Magazine. She has a background as a reporter for Tennessee’s Tullahoma News and associate producer for ABC2’s “Good Morning Maryland.” Jordan studied English and international studies at Virginia Tech where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Jordan is a voracious reader and has an extensive book collection. She is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do but jokes that she has now also earned her black belt in “attempting” to go to the gym. Jordan loves to travel and learn languages. When not abroad, she enjoys exploring new restaurants in her local Washington D.C. area.


22 responses to “Don’t Fall Victim to Windshield Repair Scams”

  1. I have a 2018 Toyota Camry and I was outside washin it. The car literally has MAYBE 75 miles on it. A well dressed and very well spoken man come up to my driveway and started small talk about water stains, and some stain free product… he then said “oh man look at that windshield damage!” I asked him to show me. He pointed out maybe a tiny nick the may have been from sand. I mean it was so tiny that your fingernail wouldn’t catch it. He asked who my insurer was and I told him. He said “man we better get that fixed” I said “the car has less than 100 miles on it and I’m sure the dealer will handle it since it’s a lease..” I said thanks for your time I’m not interested… he walked away.. but definitely a scammer… he wanted to call my insurance company right there on the spot… like, heck no! Get lost pal

  2. A young man knocked on my door, and asked me if the car in my driveway was mine. My car is a 2017. I said yes, and he pointed at my windshield asked me if I saw them, and then flipped over a clipboard, and had 4 examples, and said my windshield was separating. I was in the middle of something, and he then asked who my insurance company was, and when I told him the look on his face was priceless. I have a good insurance company, but obviously have their own windshield company they contract with, or is part of the insurance company. When he heard the name of my Insurance company he knew he wouldnt get a check. He told me I should call them and let them know. Ive had so many cars in my driving years, some 10 years old. Ive never had nor heard of a windshield separating. I asked my son today and he said it was probably a scam.

  3. This happened to me and my girlfriend today. They will approach you at a gas station and tell you that your windshield has damage. The guy did the same thing. Called our insurance company and tried to get us to say the damage was larger than a dollar bill. Immediately I was like dude this is an insurance scam lol and they immediately got scared and stopped what they were doing and left. The only reason it was believeable whatsoever was cause they were wearing uniforms and visors that actually seemed pretty legitimate. Quick google searches showed me that the company name on the uniform did not exist. Stay safe people!

  4. They are out there folks be wary, a couple of them came into my service counter today tried soliciting my employees and my customers.
    I ran them off but it is not the first time.

  5. Yes! I was “interviewed” by one of these companies just recently. The “interview” lasted 10 minutes, was mostly conversational, no real discussion of my qualifications, background, etc. and after some discussion of the interviewer’s coincidental history of being from the same place I had moved down from, he told me to come back to meet with a manager the next day. So I did–– but I never met a manager, just a manager-in-training who told me to follow her car someplace close by but gave no additional information, but that she would “show me”. So some 20 minutes later we end up in a tiny industrial park (5-7 businesses). She proceeds to walk in and look for anyone who is working there– and would just go from room to room until she found an occupant. Then tell them that “Mary Jane” from xyz company (on the same industrial strip of businesses) was getting her damaged windshield replaced––completely a lie––and then offered to look at their car for windshield damage! Turns out that two of the 7 stops did have some minor chips and probably could have qualified for repair/replace but these folks never questioned her about warrantees, insurance, quality of repair/replace, etc. By-the-way, their home office in a regular office building with several floors (in a major city) looked like they’d just moved in and could also move out in a moment’s notice. The place reeked of “SCAM”.

  6. Jordan Scott I really appreciate this blog. I’m currently opening up my 1st business and doing windshield repair as well. Crooks like the ones yall have encountered throw dirt on honest people like myself. I also wasn’t aware I needed to register with NWRA, wich is a good idea what I plan on doing. I’ve personally never encountered such a tragic event like the good folks on this post but will help spread awareness. Thank you for sharing.

  7. I live in Naples, Fl. and am getting Sick & Tired of the Scamming Auto Glass “Door to Door” scammers.
    The last one (this morning) claimed to be with A… Auto Glass and was going for the separating windshield B.S.
    Told him “Not Interested” and closed the door.
    This is about the 7th Auto Glass Scamming Clown this year and it is only the 5th month.
    Last year was worse.

  8. A guy came into my barbershop, claimed to be with an auto glass company. Was extremely disrespectful to the point where our clients felt uncomfortable. I’m over this. They come into our shop at least once a month. We need something done about this.

  9. No explanation of how the scam works? How do they get money out of the insurance company? Why would an insurance company pay them (or do they)?

    • Hi Jordan,

      The scammers charge the insurance company to “repair” “damage” that doesn’t actually exist. They typically get paid through the insurance company for the false claim.

  10. I run an auto glass company that works at car washes, mostly to limit overhead. We have locations in Minnesota, florida, and soon texas. I will tell it wasnt until i got to florida that i realized just how many scams there are in auto glass. From door to door, to offering money for you to replace your windshield, to not even offering to repair anything only replace. There is currently a lawsuit where a company tried to overcharge an insurance company to the point they totaled the lady’s car. You have to be sure and ask questions, and do research. Do they have a tax id, for instance in florida you must be registered with the dept of agriculture to work on automobiles in any capacity. Be certain to get documentation of any warranty as well. It really is a sad world that people try and rip people off. Luckily many of us auto glass companies are helping in the fight to keep the integrity of our profession.

  11. A man came to our door today by some in a plain car. Red shirts said Bob’s auto glass.He had a photo of our car that hasn’t left the driveway in 3 years.He told me the windshield has a small chip. There has been 2 other men here in the past few monthes.No chip was in our windshield. This guy says he was in our driveway this morning checking our cars when he found the chip
    I told him the only way a chip was in the windshield is if HE put it there. The windshield was not chip yesterday when I washed both of the cars windshields two days ago. He became EXTREMELY NERVOUS and said he would come back.Calling the police in the morning.Who the hell came permission to come on our property and take photos of our cars early hours in the morning. BOB’S AUTOGLASS.Red shirts.

  12. I was outside reviewing a inspection with a contractor on a home and had driven my favorite sports car that day. Outside I found a man in the driveway spraying a liquid on my car’s windshield. He then tried to convince me to make an insurance claim there on the spot to have “damages” repaired. I was amazed that this stranger had the constitution to wander on private property and start touching a car that is obviously in no need of repair.
    Door to door sales have been dead for decades, same with cold calls to home phones. I cant be convinced there is any money to be made legitimately in either.

  13. Right in the middle of the COVID19 pandemic lady wanders up on the driveway of a family member I was visiting. Identified “chips” in my windshield, talked about the separating of the glass, etc. I listened. She was friendly and quite knowledgeable but when she began to tell me what I would say to my insurance company I was suspicious. Said I had 11 chips, and to say 11 to insurance person. I told her that was a lie, which I will not do. She pointed them out, but still they were questionable. Then, I said let me check the reputation of your company with the BBB. Yep! Glass Replacements LLC had issues reported just as I had. She was the most polite, knowledgeable, personable scammer I’ve ever met. I cut her short and said I would do further research in my own time and let her know if I needed their services. Basically, encouraging one to file a false claim, because, “Hey, it’s free!” Run if approached by these people.

  14. Im in Jax Fl DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC & i told the rude glass guy to leave and he started getting mad and disrespectful saying i had chips in my windshield

  15. Dont let these people scam you. I use to work for a company here in FL that literally trains people on how to scam you into a windshield that you most likely dont even need. Here are the steps on how they do it.
    1. Approach with smiles and waves
    2. Be friendly/your windshield jesus
    3. Who is the insurance provider.
    4. Turn and burn (get you to the windshield to see “chips, small cracks, or damage”).
    5. Stress the damage no matter how tiny use imaginary damage if you have to.
    6. Fill out paper work
    7. Phone prep. “coach you” on what to say to the insurance agent.
    7. Deductible gets waived
    8. They made a sale
    Now due note they get prepped and ready way before you see them. And they have a rebuttal for every thing you can think of. They will never have a business card and tell you they are only here today. Best way to get back at them keep asking questions no matter how silly waste as much of their time as possible. But if you want them gone just say you have GEICO. Cause they are the only insurance company that sends an agent to check the damage but not before the sales person sends them pictures of the damage.

  16. We live in Jax, FL and just had a guy come by and since I knew of this scam, I told my roommate it was bogus. The guy (the manager! like I was supposed to be impressed) got rude to me, came into our apartment to confront me! and told my roommate that he was going to have me removed from our apartment! Of course, he cant do that, but what professional manager from a legit company does any of that? I know the state law regarding free (hello, we pay for the insurance that pays for the repairs) windshield replacement, so we are going to the dealer today to have it checked out. If there are problems with the windshield, it’ll cost us the same amount (free) to have it replaced.

  17. Wow this is very interesting. I recently started my own mobile auto glass service and even I was unaware of this, but then again I come from a very small town. Thank you for sharing this with all of us it was very informative and something to consider talking to my future clients about.
    Thanks a ton!

  18. Awesome article! I am the owner of >Akron Auto Glass Pros and it’s so unfortunate that this is an issue in our industry. We do everything we can to be upfront and honest to help our customers with the best solution for their situation. You did a great job with these tips.

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