Did you know that insurance fraud costs insurance companies (and ultimately consumers) more than $50 billion dollars each year according to the FBI? This equates to approximately $500 in increased annual premiums to each one of us.
Plus, when you start adding in lost productivity for businesses, ruined family finances, and the cost to investigate and prosecute, the total figure is probably much higher.
For the most part, these fraudsters aren’t criminal masterminds. From phony slip-and-falls to fake deaths to desperate business owners, here are five of the craziest insurance fraud scams we have ever encountered.
In March 2011, both men were convicted of insurance fraud, attempted grand larceny, and falsifying business records.
3. A security camera captured a man allegedly faking an injury on a wrecked bus. When Ronald Moore saw what he thought was a serious bus accident, he hatched the ultimate get-rich-quick scheme: Pretending to be a passenger, he dashed onto the bus, clutched his back in pain and later filed a claim for injuries, prosecutors claimed.
Unfortunately for him, the whole charade was caught on tape. According to the Assistant District Attorney Linda Montag, the accident was a very small tap by a taxicab. There wasn’t even a scratch on the bus.
Moore was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and sentenced to 2 years of probation.
4. Woman files 49 slip-and-fall claims in seven years. When Isabel Parker rant out of funds to support her gambling addiction, the 72-year-old orchestrated 49 slip-and-fall scams at department stores, supermarkets, and liquor stores in three different states.
An investigation by detectives from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Insurance Fraud Unit revealed Parker used as many as 47 aliases and 11 different addresses to file her claims, which totaled more than $500,000.
She was convicted of 20 counts of insurance fraud in 2003 and served a four-year sentence under house arrest.
5. Man allegedly uses Wikipedia photos to claim a $20,000 insurance policy on his nonexistent pet cat. Washington insurance officials claim Yevgeniv Samsonov tried to bilk his insurer out of $20,000 to cover the death of his nonexistent cat. In 2009 he claimed his pet died in an auto accident.
Dissatisfied with the offered settlement from the insurance company for the cat, Samsonov supposedly sent photos to prove the cat’s value. However, a quick web search done by the adjuster for the insurance company proved the pictures were actually taken a from a Wikipedia page.