The Oklahoma Insurance Department and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) are working together to make sure victims of the May 20 tornado are not victimized by insurance fraud. NICB representatives and Commissioner John Doak toured the impacted areas in the city of Moore and are working with local law enforcement and insurers to keep tabs on potential fraud by contractors and towing firms.
“We’ve learned from previous disasters in Oklahoma,” said Commissioner Doak. “We’ve sent a very strong message that we take insurance fraud very seriously. We’re active with our vehicles coming through the area. Our folks are in uniform and plain clothes, in marked and unmarked vehicles. NICB has helped train local law enforcement on insurance fraud and we’re all working together to make it known that we don’t tolerate this in our state.”
Doak said 23,000 insurance claims had been filed in the first eight days after the tornado. Many of those involved vehicles.
“We have potential for fraudulent impounders coming in and taking these vehicles and the owners and insurance companies don’t know where they are,” said NICB Special Agent Mark Wenthold. “If the Vehicle Identification Numbers aren’t recorded, the cars can end up being crushed and the VINs used on stolen vehicles in the weeks and months ahead.”
Towing companies need to have background investigations and be registered with local law enforcement according to Doak and he’s satisfied that the laws in place are helping protect Oklahomans.
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