How to avoid being victim of insurance fraud

Published On: Jul 12 2014 07:00:00 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 12 2014 10:10:00 AM EDT

Insurance fraud is a big business and we're all paying for it.

DALLAS -

For years Frenchitt Collins worked as a legitimate insurance adjustor. He was able to pull off a major insurance fraud by luring in victims with ads.

Ultimately Collins was sentenced to 15 years in prison and was ordered to pay $700,000 in restitution to his victims.

To get his scheme started Collins “got an institutional understanding of how the chiropractor business worked. Once he felt knowledgeable enough, he filed fraudulent claims with numerous insurance companies," said Jan Bodon, a U.S. postal inspector.

Collins set up bogus chiropractor offices using P.O. boxes and turned to his family and friends for help.

"Those P.O. boxes were rented by him (Collins), his wife, his brothers, or his girlfriends," said Bodon.

In order to attract clients with ads, he would go ahead and offer them $100 or $200 to use their identifiers.

Once that information was received, Collins went ahead and completed medical forms necessary and sent them to insurance companies.

The goal of these ads was to lure in more victims.

Insurance companies would then send Collins checks, lots of checks.

Federal officials said insurance fraud is a $30 billion business in the U.S.

"It is very lucrative for the criminal to perpetrate the crime because it’s low risk and it’s high reward and they know that," said Fred Lohmann of the National Insurance Crime Burea.

Experts are saying this abuse is costing all of us.

"The fact that this crime is occurring and is so prevalent in the U.S. it taxes resources federal, state and local that have to actually go in and investigate the crimes," said Lohmann.

To avoid becoming part of insurance scams do not give your Social Security number unless you are positive you are dealing with someone legitimate.

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