Fraud Files: Ellicott City Flooding

In this edition of Fraud Files we focus on the flood that devastated downtown Ellicott City, Maryland. The sudden rainfall and flooding killed two people and destroyed or damaged at least 25 buildings.  The 6 inches of rain between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. was the equivalent of a month of normal rainfall.

Car Full of Concrete – Insurance Scam Fail

In this edition of Fraud Files we take a look at how one Houston resident allegedly tried to flood a vehicle to collect on the insurance money. Police in Houston say that the owner of a 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe deliberately tried to get rid of the SUV during the April flooding in the area.

He allegedly put a piece of concrete on the gas pedal and tied the steering wheel using the driver’s side seat belt, then he drove it into the rising flood waters. NICB assisted in the investigation.

 

Two Stolen Vehicles Valued at $96,000 Recovered in Michigan

In this edition of Fraud Files we take a look at the recovery of a 2016 Chevrolet Corvette and a 2015 Ford F-150 with a total value of $96,000.

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This 2016 Chevrolet Corvette was recovered at the scene

A Michigan man was arrested and charged with allegedly using false identification to purchase the vehicles from dealerships and financing them using stolen identities. Recovered at the scene were a 2016 Chevrolet Corvette with a value of over $63,000 as well as a 2015 Ford F-150 with a value of over $33,000. Both vehicles had theft claims on them.

The subject was arrested and charged in a nine count felony complaint and was also charged as a habitual offender. The National Insurance Crime Bureau assisted in the investigation.

Multiple Arrests Made in Theft of Construction Equipment

Seven people have been arrested after an investigation into the alleged theft of several pieces equipment and authorities say that more arrests are possible. Authorities recovered nine skid-steer loaders, two backhoes, a mini excavator, multiple all terrain vehicles, a compact tractor with implements, a large construction excavator and multiple trailers.

The stolen items were brought to Shelby County from Hancock, Hendricks, Hamilton, Marion, Johnson, Monroe and Rush counties from 2008 to 2015 according to authorities.

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Multiple Arrests in Houston Tow Truck Scam

Houston police have arrested four people accused of a long-running scam that cheated motorists whose cars were towed under the Safe Clear program out of exorbitant tow lot storage fees and vehicle repair charges.

USAAutoThe allegations of organized criminal activity were lodged against individuals associated with USA Auto Collision, a Houston towing company that holds a city Safe Clear contract.

According to police, USA Auto Collision tricked motorists into signing documents – sometimes at the tow scene – authorizing its body shop to perform repairs, and then billed insurance companies for overpriced and sometimes unnecessary work.

Man ID’s Stolen Truck on Craigslist

A Detroit man is accused of stealing a pickup truck and trying to sell it on Craigslist.

Aaron Lockridge allegedly stole and tried to sell a 2002 Ford F-350 on Craigslist.  Lockridge unknowingly sold the pickup to undercover detectives who had been tracking the stolen vehicle after a tip from the original owner.

The original owner contacted the Macomb Auto Theft Squad after he saw the truck listed for sale on Craigslist. Teaming with the Wayne County Auto Theft Team, undercover detectives posed as buyers and made a deal with the seller to buy the pickup for $8,000.

At an arranged meeting, Lockridge arrived in the stolen truck and was arrested. The seized F350 was re-tagged with a vehicle identification number belonging to a 2001 Ford F150 pickup.

Detectives searched the suspect’s home in Detroit where they recovered two stolen motorcycles and a stolen Chevrolet Trailblazer from a garage. The Trailblazer belonging to an active Marine who was away on duty.

 

Fraud Files: Financial and Medical Fraud Schemes

In this edition of Fraud Files we take a look at two schemes that occurred in New Jersey. One involving a financial scheme with auto loans and the other regarding medical fraud with a dishonest doctor.

The first part of the video describes how an owner of a used car dealership, along with three employees and a bookkeeper, were charged with conspiracy, money laundering, and other offenses in connection with bank financing scam that allegedly netted $1.4 million in fraudulent loans for luxury cars.

In the second half of the report, we tell the story of a family physician in New Jersey who was sentenced to 37 months in prison for defrauding Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies out $280,000.

The Mystery of the Mystery Device

Last March we reported on thieves who are using high-tech electronic devices. These devices would be used to break through the keyless-entry systems that lock up modern cars.

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A thief breaks into a vehicle using a “mystery device” – NICB

These “mystery devices” can allegedly read the frequencies emitted from key remotes when clicked, but a thief would need to be standing very close by in order to pull that off. How these devices actually work is still a matter of debate, but the National Insurance Crime Bureau believes there’s no evidence they can start a car.

In this edition of Fraud Files we focus on the mystery device trend and a new one that  have become very popular the past year.

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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.