ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud wants you to know the dangers of insurance fraud and steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim.
Frank Sztuk, Senior Vice President for Investigate Services at the Delta Group and a member of the NY Alliance Against Insurance Fraud, discussed the types of fraud taking place and steps you can take to avoid falling victim Friday during News 8 at Sunrise.
“Insurance Fraud very simply is the abuse of the insurance system for financial gain,” said Sztuk. “So you have people committing fraud with singular acts. They’ll have an accident and claim more damage than really occurred in the incident. You have people committing rate evasion fraud, which are people claiming they live in North Carolina and they really live in New York, to get cheaper insurance. You have providers, professionals, who are abusing the system by overprescribing medication by doing needless surgeries for instance. The insurance system is paying for that and the trickle-down is to the cost of insurance fraud.”
The Alliance campaign this year is “Insurance fraud. You pay. Every day. Every way.” Sztuk said the impact on people in New York is significant. Alice’s Law was signed by the Governor on August 9 to address one form of fraud. “It goes back to an accident where Alice Ross was killed in a staged accident in 2003,” he explained. “What this establishes is making the act of staging an accident a Class E Felony in the state of New York. So people who are convicted of committing staged accidents are going to go to jail.”
Sztuk said there are steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of insurance fraud. “First off, if you know it occurred, say something about it. If you suspect that you know of somebody who’s committing fraud, call the hotline and report it. And report that this person may have committed fraud. Also, one of the things you want to do is be aware of what’s going on around you. When you’re driving, don’t tailgate because if somebody’s looking to stage an accident, it gives them an opportunity to use you as a pawn in their insurance fraud scheme.”
The hotline number is 1-844-FRAUD-NY.
You can also log on to the FRAUD NY website.