Looking for a secondary VIN? NICB can help members of law enforcement

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IAGroupThe National Insurance Crime Bureau’s Investigative Assistance Group (IA Group) handles all incoming calls from law enforcement agencies. Requests typically include assistance in building a VIN (vehicle identification number), helping identify stolen or burned vehicles and searching for information on individuals and/or vehicles that may have been involved in major crimes.

The IA Group can help law enforcement by providing:

  • Secondary VIN locations
  • Build-ups of partial VINs
  • Manufacturer information such as shipping and components and off-line suspect runs

We have access to information for cars, trucks, motorcycles, trailers, boats and heavy equipment, and some of our VIN data goes as far back as the 1920s. We have a mirror image of NCIC and can check the status of an NCIC entry and the purged files.

IAGroup2Any law enforcement officer can call us for help at 800.447.6282, ext. 7002. You will need to provide your name, ORI code and a call-back phone number. The IA Group is available from 7am to 7pm Central Time, Monday through Friday, and can also be reached via email at IA@nicb.org.

To learn more about NICB, visit www.NICB.org.

Focusing on Fraud in South Carolina

Organized fraud rings are active in South Carolina, taking advantage of the state’s lack of resources to investigate and prosecute insurance fraud.That was the message that some 150 law enforcement personnel, insurance industry representatives and elected officials heard at the annual insurance fraud summit in Greenville this week.

The summit, organized by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and the South Carolina Insurance News Service (SCINS), focused on the need for additional resources and legislative remedies to fight the growing insurance crime problem in the state. To learn more, watch this video.

Citing NICB statistics that show South Carolina ranked seventh in the nation in suspected staged accidents, Attorney General Alan Wilson urged the passage of HB 4339 to help stem the problem.

“Fraud and crime, like water, follow the path of least resistance,” said Wilson. ”I believe it is incumbent on us this year as we move forward to try to direct some more resources and legislation toward combatting insurance fraud.”

South Carolina currently allocates $200,000 a year in funds for investigation and prosecution of insurance fraud, which is the lowest of all 50 states.

NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle told the audience that in addition to staged accidents, other fraud issues that are plaguing the state include suspect medical clinics and pill mills, as well as windshield glass repair fraud.

“The proceeds that organized criminal rings haul in from insurance fraud often go to fund other criminal activities,” said Wehrle. “As we’ve seen in other states where we’ve held these summits in recent years, a few changes in the law and increased support for investigation and prosecution of these crimes sends a message to the criminals that this is no longer a place to do business.”

Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800-TEL-NICB (800-835-6422), texting keyword “fraud” to TIP411 (847411) or submitting a form on our website. Or, download the NICB Fraud Tips app on your iPhone or Android device.

About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: Headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., the NICB is the nation’s leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, training, legislative advocacy and public awareness. The NICB is supported by more than 1,100 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote over $395 billion in insurance premiums in 2014, or more than 78 percent of the nation’s property/casualty insurance. That includes more than 93 percent ($176 billion) of the nation’s personal auto insurance. To learn more visit www.nicb.org.

 

 

“Oops!…I Did It Again!”

britney-spears-oops-i-did-it-again-fanmadeNo, Britney Spears’ mega-hit from 2000 wasn’t about slip-and-fall insurance schemes, but it could have been!

Why? Because if a fraudster is successful in getting one or two of these types of claims paid, he or she typically won’t stop there. Criminals tend to stick with what works – and if something works, they do it over and over and over. Slip-and-fall rings can be found almost everywhere across the nation, with participants going from location to location to stage falls – “accidents” that are often “witnessed” by another member of the group, who is always more than eager to support the claimant’s version of events.

If your company is a member of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, our FraudSmart “Slip and Fall Claims” course can help your staff become better prepared to review, analyze and handle these claims. Participants will learn the five common indicators of questionable slip-and-fall claims and list the important elements that need to be documented and authenticated to determine the validity of the claim.

There is no additional cost to NICB members for this class. To schedule this or any other FraudSmart class at your company, log into the NICB Website at www.NICB.org with your username and password, select Training, then FraudSmart and contact the training director assigned to your state.

To learn more about NICB, visit www.NICB.org.

After the Blizzard – Beware of Insurance Fraud

In this special edition of Fraud Files we warn residents of potential scams after the east coast blizzard that hit last weekend.

One such scheme is to pocket the payment and never show up for the job, or never complete a job that was started.  Another scheme is to use inferior materials and perform shoddy work not up to code in order to pocket more profit.

Almost all of these scams begin with an unsolicited visit from a contractor.  That is why we say, “If you didn’t request it, reject it.”  If you have damage from a storm, contact your insurance company first.  Your insurance company will honor its policy and will cover you for losses so there is no need to speak with a contractor who solicits your repair work—especially when you did not request it.

Staged Auto Accidents Are Still Big Business

CarCrashDespite the rapid increase in fraud due to identity theft and other schemes, staged auto accidents are still big business. Staged accident rings are typically highly organized – often just as organized as a legitimate business would be! They are usually controlled by one or more individuals and tend to be closely associated with certain law offices and/or medical clinics. It’s not uncommon to see family members, friends, co-workers and neighbors working side-by-side to commit this fraud. Newer and/or commercial vehicles are often targeted since they tend to be insured. These schemes result in higher insurance premiums for all of us.

What can you do?

If you suspect someone of committing fraud through a staged accident scheme, report it anonymously to NICB one of these three ways:

  • Complete and submit the form available online on the NICB Website. Your contact information is not required.
  • You can also call the NICB Hotline at 800.TEL.NICB (800.835.6422), staffed Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time.
  • Cell phone users can text the keyword “FRAUD” and their tip to TIP411 (847411). Plus, iPhone or iPad users can download the NICB Fraud Tips app to make it easy to quickly send a tip and get a response.

To learn more about NICB, visit www.NICB.org.

When I grow up I want to fight insurance fraud!

Or be a cowboy. Or a princess.

oopsy-daisy-when-i-grow-up-boys-2OK, while the cowboy and/or princess thing probably hasn’t happened for most of us, quite a few of us are engaged in the fight against insurance fraud. Some of us work in law enforcement, some at insurance companies, some for NICB and more.

If your company is a member of the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), you have a wealth of fraud-fighting resources available to you. Why not take advantage of everything NICB has to offer?

  • NICB FraudSmart Training addresses the needs of insurance professionals from “newbies” to seasoned special investigators. We bring this classroom training right to you, so your staff doesn’t need to be away from the office and you don’t incur travel expenses. To schedule a FraudSmart class at your company, log into the NICB Website at www.NICB.org with your username and password, select Training, then FraudSmart and contact the training director assigned to your state.
  • All NICB members may purchase a NICTA (National Insurance Crime Training Academy) license that covers all of your employees for as many courses as they’d like to take. NICTA is available online 24/7 and has many courses available to help you and your staff fight insurance fraud as well as fulfill continuing education requirements. We encourage you to browse our full course list.
  • The NICB Document Download Center contains many training and job aids for member companies. Just follow the directions to log in or set up your nicbdocs.org account. (Note: Downloaded material must not be distributed or used outside of NICB member companies.)

To learn more about NICB, visit www.NICB.org.

 

Police in Utah Find Success Using License Plate Readers

In this edition of Fraud Files we dive into the effectiveness of the License Plate Reader (LPR) program in the state of Utah. This statewide vehicle theft program has resulted in hundreds of arrests and recoveries of almost 1,400 stolen member company vehicles.

To view more editions of Fraud Files click here.

Excruciating pain and $50K in medical bills? From a minor fender-bender?

Low impact and minor impact soft tissue injuries are not uncommon in auto accidents, and they certainly can be legitimate. They also can be the result of a staged accident, or the outcome of a legitimate accident that gives someone the opportunity to take advantage of a liability situation.

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If your company is a member of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, our FraudSmart “Managing LIST and MIST Claims – ‘Would I Lie to You?’” course can help your staff become better prepared to review, analyze and handle these claims. Participants will learn the six indicators of LIST (low impact soft tissue) and MIST (minor impact soft tissue) claims, determine what eight action steps should be taken to further investigate the claim, and understand the key indicators that can point to fraud.

There is no additional cost to NICB members for this class. To schedule a FraudSmart class at your company, log into the NICB Website at www.NICB.org with your username and password, select Training, then FraudSmart and contact the training director assigned to your state.

To learn more about NICB, visit www.NICB.org.

Stolen Truck Allegedly Linked to Cargo Theft

Fred Lohmann, NICB Director of Field Operations – Southwest Region, talks with the CBS affiliate in Dallas about a recent theft of a cargo shipment containing vegetables.

Cargo theft is a nationwide issue with a significant impact on the U.S. economy. It’s estimated that cargo crimes account for a direct merchandise loss of $15 to $30 billion per year in the U.S.

Video courtesy: KTVTTV

For more information on cargo theft visit our website at www.nicb.org and click on the brochures tab to read more about it.