Public Outreach Update

Key goals: Visualize fraud … grow social-media footprint … mobile-friendly

News media. With Irma and Harvey bearing down, the Coalition started warning against dishonest contractors. Among the news outlets in late August through mid- September: “There is simply too much confusion and too many opportunities to make a quick buck,” the Coalition told CBS News (online). … “The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud suggests shopping around first before you make your decision,” the Houston Chronicle wrote. … “The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud points out that most public adjusters are honest and competent. However, some crooked adjusters prey on disaster victims, going door-to-door to try to bilk homeowners,” reads a story appearing in HuffPost. … “Homeowners just want to put their lives back together again. It’s easy to fall prey to smooth-talking con artists,” the Coalition told the widely circulated consumer blog NerdWallet. FoxBusiness, Nasdaq & other news outlets also ran the story…. “The red flags of possible fraud are fluttering,” the Coalition warned in partnering with the national roofing firm GAF on a commercially syndicated contractor column posted in nearly 500 mostly smaller news outlets around the U.S., yet also the St. Louis Post Dispatch. … The Coalition translated a contractor-advice release into Spanish and sent it to Hispanic news outlets. We’ll evaluate results shortly.

In non-hurricane Coalition news: The Coalition’s testimony on Capitol Hill about fraud was covered by the respected Bureau of National Affairs. “The sharing of claims data among property-casualty insurers has proven to be instrumental in detecting fraud, especially by organized rings,” Dennis Jay told a key subcommittee of the Commerce Committee in the story. … “It’s kind of greed on greed,” Jay told the Dallas Morning News about out-of-network billing scams. … “Legislators in the Sunshine State need to correct this loophole so workers hurt on the job get the care they need. I just see the credibility of the anti-fraud effort being hurt by such practices,” Jay told NPR in an article about denying comp benefits to undocumented workers. It was reposted in about 110 news outlets… “Fake death fell into the moderate category. We are seeing a fair number of them,” Jay told CBS News in an online article on fake deaths for insurance money. … “Yet most insurance policy contracts and privacy notices are outdated. … The archaic wording doesn’t reflect today’s ever-expanding data and advancing technology. Nor does it clearly outline anti-fraud obligations in a digital era. Increasingly, insurers risk having data searches in civil fraud actions and investigations declared undiscoverable as privacy violations,” Jay wrote in a Property-Casualty 360 article that also appeared in Claims Magazine.

Fraud of the Month. Jacques Roy mounted a form of home invasion, so big and audacious that he’ll serve 35 long and lonely years in federal prison. The Dallas- area doctor authored one of the largest Medicare cons in history,” the August installment reads. “The elephantine $375-million plot cranked out thousands of false claims for phony care of supposedly infirm and homebound seniors.”

Podcast. Watch out for shifty insurance agents who try to steal client premiums and sell more coverage than a client needs, the Coalition warns in the newest FraudFeed podcast.

JIFA. “Third-party lenders of all types increasingly are venturing into the litigation “market,” reads a new JIFA article on controversial litigation loans. “They provide nonrecourse loans for specific claims or suits, for which the principal and interest is only due and payable from the proceeds of a settlement or judgment. This trend could encourage more fraud across all lines of insurance.

AIG. The Coalition is partnering with AIG, providing extensive consumer resources and strategic advice for the insurer’s global week-long fraud-awareness effort in November.