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Identity Theft

Insurance fraud: good news, bad news


Last week, at the annual Insurance Summit hosted by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida’s CFO Jeff Atwater said his Bureau of Insurance Fraud arrests an average of four people a day. That’s both good news and bad news. It’s good to put fraudsters out of business since insurance fraud is not a victimless crime; honest people pay more than they need to for insurance since the cost of fraud inflates the cost of claims. But the “bad news” is that fraud fighters have always been kept busy, and they seem to be getting busier.

Just take a look at some of the news stories from the past week.

Are you cleverer than a cyber crook?

Cyber risk figure

A plastic foam superhero action figure saved me yesterday. She flew into my mailbox, along with a pamphlet extorting, “Be a Cyber Hero.” And, I am (cue Superman theme song).

I got an email yesterday purportedly from a newspaper reporter. In the subject line, it said “View Document,” and there was a graphic of the document to click upon. The email even had the reporter’s correct email address, signature line and phone number. I did not click it – because it’s Cyber Security Awareness Month – and a foam action figure warned of danger ahead.

Foiling identity theft during the holidays—and all year through

Guess which state had the highest number of identity theft complaints last year. Yeah, it’s Florida. Our state ranks highest, based on complaints per population. And, Florida is behind only California for cyber crime.

Steeling seniors against scams & shams

There always seems to be someone trying to get rich quick at the expense of the unsuspecting. Insurance fraud is a $32 billion business for property/casualty insurers, and the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services estimates healthcare fraud to be more than twice that amount. While there are many fraud victim stories to tell, it’s kind of scary when one hits close to home.

Cyber Risk: A threat to businesses and their customers

Santa checks his list twice, and so should you. Check your lists of credit cards and debit cards expenditures monthly to verify that purchases listed are yours alone—because some security experts suggest that data breaches will get worse before they get better.

Identity theft: A gift that keeps on getting

Shoppers are out in full force this time of year, and so are identity thieves. The holiday season gives credit cards a workout, and with your personal credit information in festive display, identity thieves have more opportunity to feast on your finances.