With layoffs, foreclosures and other Misery Metrics piling up as the
recession grinds on, reporters keep asking if insurance fraud is
Are stressed-out consumers trying to bilk their insurers for convenient
bailouts? So far, this has been the big insurance-fraud story for 2009.
Reporters’ antennae are on high alert. They’re scouring for fresh
stories on how the recession is affecting consumers—and insurance fraud
now is front and center.
Sadly but true, people’s desperate fraud schemes give fraud "fighters a
prime stage for building public outrage and sending forceful deterrent
Well-timed news efforts can help thwart bogus claims now, and reduce
public tolerance of fraud well after the recession has ended.
The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud is moving swiftly. Our
public-interest news campaign earned nearly 700 stories about fraud and
the recession in the "first quarter of 2009 alone.
So-called vehicle giveups remain the fastest-spreading fraud trend—and
hottest news story. Stressed-out drivers are torching unwanted vehicles,
sinking them in waterways or giving them to chop shops—all for illicit
Suspected giveups, for instance, have soared 30 percent or more in New
York, Pennsylvania and Miami. Southern California is another hot spot.
Same with Dallas, Las Vegas, Newark, Louisville and other locales.
This winter we’ve worked on national giveup stories with the Wall Street
Journal…New York Times…Associated Press (national)…CBS Evening News…Good
Morning America…Fox News… ABC News.com…BusinessWeek.com…Hartford
Courant…New York Post…MSN and other news outlets. Most stories have
appeared, and some are in progress.
Among the insights by coalition staff quoted in recent news stories:
Wall Street Journal: “The economy is stretching people to the breaking
point, and some of them are willing to risk criminal convictions. They
look at (giveups) as their own personal stimulus package.”
Good Morning America: “Most people who dump their cars are decent,
honest people who are literally driven to do this by the downturned
ABC News.com: “These are normally honest people who wouldn’t steal a
candy bar from a grocery store…They’re resorting to a stupid and
ill-thought-out crime as a last resort…People are just destroying their
lives in an attempt to illegally bail themselves out.”
Published by the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud,