Education plays a key role in protecting yourself from insurance fraud. By recognizing a few of the common scams, you may be able to avoid becoming a victim. You can also help others if you know what to look for by sharing a tip with law enforcement if you see something wrong. Here are a few types to keep an eye out for.
Any vehicle, any time, in plain sight and even from your own driveway at night, thieves are stealing vehicles. Auto theft is a serious threat to public safety and continues to affect our local communities coast to coast, and crosses international borders. Be on the lookout for these key trends in vehicle thefts: electronic auto theft is on the rise across the country as more vehicles are equipped with technology like push button start; many high-end SUVs continue to be stolen for export; and stolen vehicles are being given false vehicle identification numbers and sold to unsuspecting consumers.
Click here for tips to help protect yourself from vehicle theft.
Criminals have a few techniques to lure unsuspected motorists into road accidents so that they can file a false insurance claim. In some cases, the offending driver has a car full of occupants looking to file medical claims for alleged injuries from the accident too. Additionally, a tow-truck operator (who’s in on the scam) may show up to take your car to an auto shop that will charge for unnecessary repairs.
Medical Services Fraud
We all trust our doctors and health care providers but there are a few unscrupulous clinics that may overbill for services that you don’t need or are not performed at all. Medical patients are sometimes involved in this as well, submitting false claims to their insurance company. You can help avoid medical services fraud by asking to see your practitioner’s credentials or by checking his or her professional status at their affiliated college. Never sign any documentation that is blank or without being fully aware of what you’re consenting to.
While you might never engage in insurance fraud, someone using your name could! As we spend more and more time online, criminals are seizing more opportunities to steal your personal information. Your personal information can be used to open bank accounts, obtain credit cards or purchase an insurance policy. A few ways a criminal can get hold of your information is through phishing techniques, phone calls or emails from someone pretending to be from a trusted organization, or by breaking into your car and accessing your insurance and car ownership documentation.
Have you ever been offered an insurance policy that seemed too good to be true? It probably was. Fraudsters may present themselves as licensed brokers, selling you a forged or invalid policy. While we all like to save money, when it comes to insurance, always make sure you purchase your policy through a licensed agent or broker, or directly from the insurer. Your provincial regulator can confirm if a sales person is the real deal.
If You Suspect Insurance Fraud, Report It!
We all have a role in combatting insurance fraud. You can make a difference by reporting the crime using our form at https://www.equiteassociation.com/contact or by calling 1-877-422-TIPS.