An antiques dealer, an auto mechanic and even a couple of insurance agents are among the dishonored on 2005’s Top Ten Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud cases list, released this week by the Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (IFPA).
Published annually, the “Top 10” list brings attention to a sampling of the insurance fraud cases that played out in the previous year, costing innocent consumers millions of dollars in higher premiums.
As this year’s list illustrates, the people who commit insurance fraud – a felony crime in Pennsylvania – come from many different backgrounds. The IFPA’s newly designed Web site, http://www.helpstopfraud.org, offers a glimpse into the minds of the people who think they can commit insurance fraud and get away with it, not realizing that if they get caught, they could face hefty fines and jail time.
Fraud can be as simple as padding a claim, filing a false workers’ compensation form or registering your vehicle somewhere other than where you live. These actions cost the insurance industry more than $95 billion dollars every year nationwide. Pennsylvanians feel these effects through having to pay significantly higher premiums on all types of insurance.
Highlights from this year’s list include the case of a Philadelphia man who collected $261,000 in damages from a house fire investigators said he set; a doctor who learned that getting busted can be a bitter pill to swallow; and a man who billed his insurance company for anti-aging treatments.
“We release this list each year to show Pennsylvanians that insurance fraud is not always committed by hardened criminals, but by average consumers often unaware they may be committing a felony that could land them in jail,” said Roy Miller, executive director of IFPA. “This list, as well as our newly designed Web site, informs individuals about different types of fraud; helping them stay on the right side of the law.”
For the complete 2005 Top 10 list, and additional information on insurance fraud and what Pennsylvanians can do to protect themselves, visit the Authority’s Web site.
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