The public may be fed up with insurance fraudsters. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports receiving 5,562 tips via text, toll-free telephone and online through the NICB Web site from the public in 2009. This more than double the 2,500 received in the previous year, which could be attributed to last year’s decision to expand NICB’s traditional hotline (1.800.TEL.NICB) by adding a text messaging capability.

In 2009 tipsters provided valuable information to NICB investigators, which helped uncover fraudulent insurance schemes involving medical fraud, chiropractors, auto body/glass repair shops, roofers and others. Schemes such as these occur daily, and cause millions of dollars in losses to insurance companies—losses that are ultimately passed on to consumers through higher premiums.

"Some of these tips have led to investigations that involve criminal rings that are conducting operations involving millions of dollars in false insurance claims and payments," says Joe Wehrle, NICB president and CEO. "The increasing number of tips shows that the American public has lost its patience and is ready and eager to fight back. NICB and its member companies and law enforcement partners are actively pursuing these valuable leads and following them through with arrests and prosecutions."

 

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