These electronic “scanner boxes” allows the thief to mimic the signal emitted by key fobs that open car doors with the click of a button. Once inside, thieves can steal personal items.
Sausalito (CA) police said last Thursday a man used this same type of device to unlock a vehicle. Surveillance footage shows the suspect casing a parked black Audi. He approaches the car and taps the passenger’s door handle. The doors unlock and the man is able to walk away with a suitcase and a $15,000 Cervelo custom bike.
In this edition of Fraud Files we take a look at a multi-jurisdictional task force in Missouri that had been investigating multiple vehicle thefts near the Franklin and Jefferson county line.
Officers were going to make an arrest in a garage, near Lonedell, Missouri, when a vehicle with three people inside charged at the officers. The officers then opened fire on the vehicle, striking two men inside and killing one of them.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is a not-for-profit organization that receives support from nearly 1,100 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. For over 100 years the NICB has partnered with insurers and law enforcement agencies to facilitate the identification, detection and prosecution of insurance criminals.
In January AM Best caught up with NICB CEO Joe Wehrle and took a tour of our New York office to see how we continue to combat insurance fraud on a daily basis.
Irina and Igor Vorotinov were indicted Thursday on suspicion of scheming to cheat an insurance company out of $2 million by allegedly faking his death in the family’s homeland of Moldova. Their son, Alkon Vorotinov, was previously indicted for his role in the cover-up, and intends to plead guilty next month.
According to the case against the Vorotinovs, Igor bought a life insurance policy in April 2010. Then in October 2011, police in Moldova were notified about a dead body found along the road. A passport, hotel cards and phone numbers identified the man as Igor Vorotinov.
As we’ve reported earlier tow trucks scams are becoming a major issue across the country. In Chicago rogue towing has become the most popular trend. That is when tow operators take advantage of accident victims in order to charge exorbitant fees over and above what would be reasonable to tow a vehicle.
One tow company in Chicago has been placing online ads for tows for only $65. However, Natalie Bomke of WFLD-TV found out that wasn’t the case for many victims of this alleged scam. FOX 32 News Chicago
Dr. Lherisson Domond fronted ownership of the clinic, Unity Pain and Injury Center, from February to December 2012, but the clinic was operated by several non-licensed individuals who offered to pay Domond $1,500 a month for use of his name.
An investigation stated the clinic illegally provided medical treatment and physical therapy to individuals involved in motor vehicle accidents. The treatments then were billed to insurers under the patients’ personal injury protection insurance coverage.
The investigation further revealed that two other individuals, Nesly Loute and Pierre Alex Herisse, allegedly hired clinic staff and managed its operations. The three arrested individuals face felony charges for fraud, operating an unlicensed clinic and grand theft that carry sentences of up to 30 years.
The underground market is lively for items that can be acquired at a fraction of their legitimate cost. Tailgates are no exception. While many of these stolen tailgates end up on similar vehicles, others are simply sold for scrap, which contributes to the nationwide problem of metal theft.
Tailgate thefts can occur anywhere; several episodes of multiple thefts have occurred in single locations, such as auto dealers’ lots and shopping malls. Since a tailgate theft takes just seconds to accomplish, consumers might consider using an after-market security device, such as a hinge lock to thwart criminals.
Florida is fourth in the nation for tailgate thefts and this past week over eight tailgates were targets in Deltona, Florida. WESH-TV filed the following video report on the incidents.
South Florida officials are cracking down on fraudulent insurance cards after seeing an increase in the region. The problem law enforcement has is that when they make a regular traffic stop they have no way of verifying the authenticity of the card.
Fake insurance cards are sold online where anyone can doctor or by using Internet sites that sell you templates with the disclaimer that they don’t encourage illegal activity.
Because it’s so difficult to identify, agencies are teaming up with insurance companies to crack down on this crime which is a third-degree felony in Florida.
DES PLAINES, Ill., Feb. 12, 2015 — As the Northeast continues to get pounded by storm after storm, there’s one more threat that Bostonians need to watch out for: shady contractors, or “storm chasers,” looking to make a fast but fraudulent buck using your homeowners insurance. Heavy snowfalls are damaging roofs, resulting in an unusually large number of insurance claims, and those storm chasers can’t wait to get their hands on your money.
After a disaster, contractors will often go door-to-door in affected neighborhoods offering clean up, construction or other repair services. Most of these business people are reputable, but many are not. The dishonest ones may execute schemes to defraud innocent victims, such as:
pocketing the payment and never showing up for the job;
never completing a job that was started; or
using inferior materials and performing shoddy work that’s not up to code.
Almost all of these scams are unsolicited—they begin with a knock on the door from a contractor seeking work. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recommends that “if you didn’t request it, reject it.” If you have storm damage, call your insurance company first.
NICB offers these tips before hiring a contractor:
Take pictures of your property before, during and after flooding or other damage
Get more than one estimate
Get everything in writing: cost, work to be performed, work and payment schedules, guarantees, and any other expectations
Demand references and check them out
Ask to see the salesperson’s driver’s license and write down the license number and their vehicle’s license plate number
Never sign a contract with blanks; unacceptable terms could be added later
Never pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until the work is finished and ensure reconstruction is up to current code
Make sure you review and understand all documents sent to your insurance carrier
Never let a contractor pressure you into hiring them or letting them do unnecessary work
Never let a contractor interpret the insurance policy language
Never let a contractor discourage you from contacting your insurance company