Public Outreach Update

Planet Earth also abounded with advice and creative ways consumers can dodge schemers during International Fraud Awareness Week last November.

The annual festival guards against financial hoaxes of all kinds — insurance, identity theft, tax and others. Crime-fighting groups around the globe were involved. Insurance fraud fighters can glean plenty of inspiration for their own efforts … just apply the outreach idea to insurance fraud. Fraud busters from dozens of nations took part.

Fraud Awareness Week also was a platform for U.S. fraud fighters to speak out against this $80-billion crime. AIG went internal. The global insurer arranged large-scale events to educate employees about insurance fraud in several nations around the world, including the New York headquarters. Allstate held regional workshops for employees.

“Fraudsters are not picky as to a specific type of business they are attacking. Wherever they believe a company is vulnerable [they will attack]. And once you’re vulnerable and a fraudster knows they can ‘get in’, then word gets out,” Lynne Brady, Nationwide’s vice president of external fraud, told Business Insurance in an article highlighting Fraud Awareness Week.

Tagging onto Fraud Awareness Week is a useful way fraud fighters can reach out to consumers or employees with deterrent messages. Now is a good time to start planning for this year’s fraud festival, Nov. 11-18, 2018. Updated outreach material will be posted later this year.

Fraud fighters can adapt the 2017 outreach tools with an insurance slant. A light-hearted insurance fraud trivia quiz would get consumers thinking. Thismore-generalized quiz makes that point. Or this menu of consumer features … or ways to get involved that can be adapted as insurance-specific features.

Try special calendar days

Or … plug into these other special days with themed efforts. Would National Consumer Protection Week (March) be an opportunity to alert consumers to scams taking place in their state? Or would American Housing Month (June) be a chance to tell consumers about shady contractors?

Where do people get their news at a time when newsrooms continue laying off reporters and mobile devices are taking over many people’s lives?

The great shift in news viewing continues full-force. Fraud fighters should redouble their deterrent consumer efforts on social media, recent research suggests. This is the world where so many consumers are increasingly likely to seek interesting insurance fraud cases, alerts and other lively material that makes people sit up and listen.

  • Two-thirds of Americans get at least some of their news on social media — a small spike over 2016;
  • Even Boomers continue getting into the act, with 55 percent of Americans age 50 or older viewing news from social platforms. That’s a 10-percent rise over 2016;
  • Fewer consumers rely on TV for news. Only 50 percent rely on TV — down from 57 percent in 2016; and
  • Younger consumers are especially TV-aversive. Just eight percent of youths age 18-39 get their news from network TV.