We thought it was time to round up some of the fraud and scams cases we spotted online. If you are rating risk, it’s always good to know what tactics are being used. OK, let’s get into it;
Allianz posted a case recently which they pursued after a fire sparked an insurance claim. The fire occurred on 11 February 2018 in a room storing ink cartridges. Two companies located in the building, Fazteck and Chohan, which were managed by the same family, filed claims for losses totalling just over £2m. However, investigations established the cause of the damage as arson.
Haroon Bashir, a director at both Fazteck and Chohan, pleaded guilty to wilful fire raising and attempted fraud as his case was heard recently at the Dundee Sheriff Court.
Besides establishing naked flames had started the blaze, investigations found CCTV footage from the time of the fire showing Mr Bashir emerging from smoke coming out of the building. And a search of the Fazteck premises recovered policy documents where information on claims pay-outs had been highlighted.
The Scottish Daily Mail reports that when Police investigated they found CCTV images which showed a silver car, registered to a family member, was seen parked for an hour nearby before smoke emerged from the building. A figure can be seen in the footage getting into the car and that person was identified later as Bashir.
Sentence has been deferred.
An interesting insight into organised fraud can be seen in The Thaigher news site, where they report local Police busted a gang who created elaborate back stories as part of a fake claims network involving 16 people. The fraudsters would set up a bank account, fake ID, address details and more for those willing to join their Ponzi scheme, so that claims would be more convincing – plus it stopped automated software picking up linked family names, bank details for payouts and addresses of course.
They were keen. One claimant used sandpaper to simulate road rash for a fake motorcycle accident claim, then she used a pestle – that’s a hefty ceramic crushing tool used by cooks and drug mixers by the way – to break her own finger for a second claim. Ironically, the woman with the broken digit `fingered’ the rest of the gang to the Police.
See what we did there? OK, let’s move on.
Over now to Spain where The Olive Press reports that one insurer has seen a rise of 21% in fake claims during the pandemic, although this still only accounts for around 7 out of every 100 claims. Motor fraud is the popular attack method, says Linea Directa. More here.
There is more useful info on how Linea Directa identifies a typical profile of a would-be fake claimant; usually a younger male with a `precarious’ job. It’s worth noting that restrictions brought in as a response to Covid19 were the top cited reason for attempting fraud, as massive financial hardship is the inevitable result of closing down the entire tourism sector. That’s on the Surinenglish website by the way.
News in from Missisippi, where a pharmacist has been sentenced to some serious jail time, after manipulating the compound prescriptions system to defraud Tricare and health insurers out of millions of dollars. There was a bit of a group thing going on, with kickback payments changing hands too. Read more at Health Exec site.
The Daily Express reports on the case of a traffic stop which revealed a pensioner had been driving since 1950 without any licence or insurance. What’s more, the Mini driver, born in 1938, had never been involved in an accident in seven decades of motoring. The vehicle without any cover was spotted by ANPR cameras by the way.
YOU GET ONE PHONE CALL
Finally, we look at a case in the USA, where the Dept of Justice reports that a Chinese national has been convicted of organising an iPhone scam. Basically Android phones were manufactured to look like iPhones, imported to the USA then because the fake IMEI numbers entitled owners to make a warranty claim, that’s what they did. The scam was making Wu and his wife fairly wealthy, with almost a million dollars rolling in, so they decided to launder cash into property, which highlights how criminal activity nearly always leaves a digital money trail.
Another factor is the use of `mules’ or accomplicesand creating fake IDs for those co-conspirators. Wu also procured fake identification documents, used aliases, opened multiple commercial mail receiving agency mailboxes, and arranged for members of the conspiracy to travel throughout the United States.