Insurance Industry Tidbits for Professional Fraud Investigators
- The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) now has a license reader section through its ISO database. Simply put, if a vehicle or truck has crossed the northern or southern border of the United States, the license plate is photographed. The location, date and time of the crossing is documented and placed on this site. This is a tangible source to identify where vehicles and trucks may have been during any given period. If your company is a member of the NICB, then look for this section the next time you are using the database.
- Since Hurricane Katrina, watercraft vessel fraud is significantly higher. If your company insures watercraft, beware of a higher instances of claims and fraud.
- The internet has become one of the most useful tools for investigators. Beyond database information, there is now a significant amount of information placed by individuals that impeach their credibility. For instance, claimants who allege loss of earnings may list a company they own. Some claimants place photos on the web, obviously great for fraud surveillance. A further surveillance tool is MySpace.com. Believe it or not, I have had a recent surveillance where a claimant placed a photo on the site and then details where they will be day-to-day as they converse with their friends.
- Each state has its own guidelines and forms for reporting fraud. Sometimes these are difficult to locate but Schneider Associates has all the states' information stored in their own database. If you need assistance—in any state—call us and we will guide you through the process.
- Reporting fraud in California can sometimes be frustrating for insurance companies. Due to a lack of manpower, the vast majority of claims are not opened by the Dept of Insurance. There are now other routes to take. Many County District Attorneys have designated Insurance Fraud divisions. Smaller counties are more apt to open a file than larger ones. In fact, some counties are now receiving grants from the Department of Insurance to assist in prosecuting fraud. For example, the county of San Luis Obispo received a grant last year to prosecute auto fraud.
Howard Schneider has been a licensed private investigator in California and New York for over 25 years. His efforts have been highlighted on a Los Angeles TV station exposé on Insurance Fraud. He has been quoted in the prestigious John Cooke Fraud Report and in a recent article in a Insurance Trade Magazine. He has testified numerous times in Court and at Grand Jury proceedings.
His seminars, "A Common Sense Approach to Identifying Fraud," have been recognized by insurance companies around the nation.
Prior to entering the Private Sector, Mr. Schneider was a Special Investigator for the New York State Legislature and later held the same position with the United States House of Representatives.
SCHNEIDER ASSOCIATES can be reached by phone at 818 419 8140, by fax at 805 494 0370, or by e-mail.