How You Can Protect Yourself Against Insurance Fraud

Posted in Uncategorized on October 11, 2018.

Most Americans are aware of the threat that identity theft, or someone stealing and using someone else’s personal information and financial records to commit fraud, poses. There are several things you can do to prevent this and other types of insurance fraud that may lead to significant expenses, fraudulent claims and charges, and a host of other problems.

Be Wary of Phone and Email Scams

Many modern scammers who commit insurance fraud target senior citizens who they believe may not understand the digital aspects of insurance and finance, or consumers who may be purchasing insurance for the first time. Scammers use many tactics to try and extract personal and financial information from their targets to use for personal gain.

For example, a scammer may call an insurance policyholder and claim that the policyholder needs a new ID card. The scammer may ask the policyholder for personal information to issue a new card, and the unwary target offers valuable information the scammer then exploits.

Phishing is another major concern today. This term describes software that infects computers through emails. When the target receives a phishing email and opens an included attachment or link, the phishing program embeds in the target’s computer system and siphons data to the sender. Never open any emails from suspicious or unfamiliar senders.

Most modern email services offer spam detection and automatically flag many phishing attempts, but unfortunately many other attempts succeed. Never download any attachments or click any links displayed in suspicious email messages.

Safeguard Personal Records

Some criminals physically steal personal and financial information from their targets or their homes, or even in the trash. If you receive credit card offers in the mail that you do not want, do not simply toss them away. It would be simple for someone to use it to apply for a card in your name and simply change the address. You may not even realize it happened until after the scammer ruined your credit by maxing out a fraudulently-obtained credit card.

Keep personal and financial information somewhere safe in your home, such as a locking file cabinet, desk, or fireproof safe with a combination lock. If you need to dispose of any documentation that contains your personal information, you may want to invest in a paper shredder or a cross-cut shredder that can destroy old credit cards or insurance cards.

Take Your Time Shopping for Insurance

If you are purchasing any type of insurance for the first time, make sure the insurer you choose is legitimate. Many scammers set up fake insurance company websites to try and trick their targets into paying premiums for nonexistent coverage or stealing their payment information. Before agreeing to any insurance coverage, make sure you verify the insurance carrier is a legitimate insurer. In the event you encounter an insurer you believe to be fraudulent or a scam, contact your state’s Health Insurance Department to investigate the insurer.

Act Quickly After Suspicious Activity

There are many possible ways to suffer damages from insurance fraud. It’s vital to be vigilant for any odd correspondence with insurers, such as for a claim you don’t remember filing, and track your credit score on a regular basis. If you are concerned about fraudulent charges to your bank account or credit card, call your bank or lending company and report the issue. Financial institutions generally freeze compromised accounts until they can investigate claims of fraudulent activity, but you may need to provide proof you did not make the charges in question.

If you are curious for more ways to protect yourself from insurance fraud or need to discuss a recent fraudulent incident with a professional, an attorney can help you understand the legal options available to you and the parties who may be responsible for your damages. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.