Insurance fraud can take place across multiple industries, from automobile insurance to medical insurance to property insurance. In most cases, the victim does not even know that he or she has been defrauded. By making yourself aware of common insurance fraud schemes in California, you can better equip yourself to identify insurance fraud when it occurs and help stop insurance fraud in California. If you believe you have witnessed an incident of insurance fraud, call Brod Law Firm at (800) 427-7020 today to speak with an experienced qui tam attorney and learn how you can help.
What is Insurance Fraud?
The California Penal Code defines insurance fraud as the willful injury, destruction, or disposition of any property that is insured against loss or damage. Consumers and businesses alike can be guilty of insurance fraud. While a consumer might be found committing insurance fraud by submitting a claim to his or her insurance company based on false injuries, a business might be found committing insurance fraud by inflating the cost of their services or billing for services that were never performed. While insurance fraud can take place in just about any industry, the most common industries in which insurance fraud is seen are the automobile, healthcare, workers’ compensation, property insurance, and life insurance industries.
Common Insurance Fraud Schemes
There are far too many insurance fraud schemes to cover in one article, but below are two common insurance fraud schemes, one from the consumer side and one from the business side, to give you a better idea of what they look like and how you can spot one in real life.
Consumer Side: Stolen Car Insurance Fraud
The stolen car insurance fraud scheme is a common one. There are typically two ways in which an individual can commit insurance fraud through a stolen car. The first is that an individual will sell the car to a body shop and then report the car stolen. In this scenario, the body shop owner is in on this scheme, so the police will not be able to find out that the car has been sold to the body shop. The second way an individual can commit insurance fraud through a stolen car is by selling the car overseas through a cash transaction and reporting it stolen, so there is no trace of the sale.
Business Side: Health Insurance Billing Fraud
One common health insurance fraud scheme from hospitals and medical professionals is over billing insurance companies for patient services or billing for services that were never performed at all. For example, your doctor might bill your insurance company for a surgical procedure when you go in for a simple check up. By reviewing your bills carefully, you may be able to spot health insurance billing fraud and help prevent this type of fraud from occurring in the future.
How Whistleblowers can Help Stop Insurance Fraud
Whistleblowers can help stop insurance fraud by reporting fraudulent acts they witness in their daily lives. If you believe you have witnessed insurance fraud, call an experienced whistleblower lawyer immediately to learn how to report the fraud. The legal professionals at Brod Law Firm have helped whistleblowers report instances of insurance fraud and obtain the compensation they deserve for helping put an end to insurance fraud. Call us at (800) 427-7020 today to schedule your consultation.
(image courtesy of Hush Naidoo)