Friday, February 3, 2017

GETTING THE MOST OUT OF INVESTIGATIVE SERVICES



When many of us think about investigative services, what comes to the mind is the picture of a gentlemen putting on a long overcoat and sunglasses and carrying out a stakeout with a high-capacity binoculars and camera. The fact, however, is that there are diverse investigative services that you may use in your lifetime. Basically, investigative services include all types of services where some sort of investigation must be performed.

Hiring the right investigator is among the most essential steps to take in order to take full advantage of the benefits of using investigative services. A private investigator may offer you a wide range of services. For instance, if you need to locate a person, investigate someone's activities or gain additional information about certain activities or other things. While you certainly wish to find out more about the services that a private investigator may offer, another good idea is to find out about their experience and background.

Before hiring any investigative services, you may ask:

·         If they have proper license and insurance

·         For some references

·        Who will be doing the investigation and
· 
           What their methods are.

In most areas, investigative services are not regulated, so anyone can start up an investigation firm. However, many professionals have particular experience and higher level education in areas like civil service, law enforcement and IT forensics among others. Education and skills can be of incredible value to you if you would like to enjoy the best results from your choice of investigative services. Additionally, while licensing is not essential in many areas, some experts have taken the effort to get a license or extra certifications in their field.

Conclusively, take time to research the different types of investigative services available and settle for one who offers the services you need. Need a professional private investigator? Do not hesitate to contact National SIU. 800-960-6748 or email us at contact@nsiu.com

Why you should use a 3 day surveillance


Friday, January 27, 2017

Seeing Things in a Different Light

How we see ourselves can be very different from how others see us. The owner and operator of a medical staffing company and home care services provider in Pennsylvania definitely saw herself in a different light than the government prosecutors who went after her for stealing more than $1 million from Medicaid. On the woman’s company website, she describes herself as an “experienced nurse with impeccable skills.” However, a more accurate explanation may have been an “experienced fraudster with impeccable skills in deception.”

Over a two-year period, the business owner carried out her scam by creating fake identification documents and bogus occupational licenses for some of her employees. She also submitted bills to Medicaid for services that were either not provided by her employees, were provided by someone other than the person that claimed to provide the services, or were not provided by a qualified employee at all. (That’s a pretty scary thought. Who would want to receive medical care from someone who was not qualified to give it?)

Although the woman had the right credentials and certifications to run her company, she was anything but impeccable. The 49-year-old pleaded guilty to making false statements about health care matters, engaging in monetary transactions involving criminally derived property and identity theft. She was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay back $1,184,224 and forfeit $656,421.
In addition to claiming that she had “impeccable skills,” the company website also stated that the business “would not shield any errors or omissions to protect our image.”

It looks like the government is holding this woman to her word. Let’s hope that she spends the next three years behind bars examining her lack of character and will emerge with a more accurate self-image and remorse for her illegal actions.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Growing A Crop of Fraud


The American Farm Bureau Federation states that farmers and ranchers only receive 16 cents out of each dollar spent on food. The remainder goes to “wages and materials for production, processing, marketing, transportation and distribution.” (Sometimes, when there’s a bad year and crop production is down, it’s hard to make ends meet. But that was not the case in this situation.)A Missouri farmer, who collected more than $448,000 in crop insurance benefits he did not deserve, ended up reaping a prison sentence instead of a bountiful crop due to his fraudulent claims.

An article posted on WPSDLocal6.com indicates that over five years, the Missouri man illegally received $240,367 in insurance payments in the name of a farm he owned and operated. Additionally, he obtained another $207,729 in insurance indemnities, premium subsidies and administrative subsidies he did not qualify for.

And that’s not all. Investigators discovered that the man also transmitted “Extended Work Search Waivers” to the Missouri Division of Employment Security reporting that his employees had been temporarily laid off when in fact they were working and receiving a paycheck. These fraudulent activities occurred over five years and caused more than $60,000 in unemployment Insurance benefits to be paid to employees that were not eligible to receive them.

The 49-year-old fraudster pleaded guilty to making false statements about crop insurance benefits, theft of government property and wire fraud. He was sentenced to prison for two years.
Further research revealed that the man owned and operated multiple farms and related businesses. His scam involved putting the businesses in other people’s names in order to receive the insurance payments he would otherwise not qualify for. (Perhaps a two-year stint in prison will help this offender to weed out his criminal tendencies so that he can grow in character.)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

5 Most Common Types of Insurance Frauds You Should Know Of



Surprisingly, insurance fraud is viewed as a victimless offense. When insurance companies are cheated, it is the people who pay premium on a timely basis that suffer the most. This is because their insurance cost goes up. It’s saddening to know that the losses suffered by insurance companies because of perpetrators are in turn borne by honest people.
According to statistics, around $80 billion losses are incurred annually on account of insurance frauds.
However, not many people know that we, as individuals, can play an essential role in preventing insurance frauds. For this, we need to be aware of the most common types. Stated below are the 5 most common types of insurance frauds:

1.     Stolen Cars

Offenders make use of stolen cars to commit an insurance fraud in two ways. Firstly, if a legitimate owner sells the car to a body shop owner for spare parts, it could be considered stolen. Since the body shop is also a faction of the scheme, the legal authorities wouldn’t  be able to find out that an insurance fraud has been committed. Secondly, criminals hide their car and make claims that it has been stolen. Moreover, the insurance company wouldn’t be able to draw out money from the car owner even after the car is located.

2.     Car Accidents

Many of the accidents that happen around us are actually insurance frauds taking place. Insurance fraud accidents are staged where the driver and the victim are co-conspirators. Sometimes, the fraud is planned on such a massive level that it involves fake witnesses and insurance investigators as well. Moreover, in such fraud claims, the value of the car that got hit and the value of the car that hits the victim’s car are greatly hiked. Likely so, the cost of the damages is also inflated.

3.     Health Insurance Billing Fraud

It is quite appalling to know that healthcare professionals are often involved in such conspiracies. Some basic examples of common frauds they commit include billing the insurance company for treatments that was never provided, or hiking the value of the work that was done. For instance, if a patient comes in for a regular checkup, the doctor would bill the insurance company for an in-patient surgery. Here, the patient may be the real victim of fraud but would have no knowledge of it.

4.     Unneeded Medical Procedures

If you ever come across a situation where your doctor is prescribing you tests unnecessarily, or ones you feel don’t pertain to your condition, you might be a victim of insurance fraud. For example, if you are suffering from a leg sore and your doctor asks you to get some blood and stool tests done, you are likely to get confused as to the reason behind this test.

5.     Faked Death

This is one fraud that has stemmed from movies, books and TV shows. In such kind of insurance frauds, the criminal will file an insurance policy of his own life, making the spouse as the only beneficiary. After months, the fraudster will fake his/her own death and all the money and benefits will go to the spouse. Post funeral, the spouse may relocate where they reunite and enjoy the claimed money.
Have you been a victim of a ruthless insurance fraud? If yes, then you surely need the assistance of an insurance fraud investigator such as National SIU. This private investigations firm has a special investigations unit so that you can be provided with evidences that reveal the real side of the case. Browse their website http://www.nsiu.com/home for more information.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Insurance Fraud Numbers in the US




You can put stock in one industry to do well despite the recession, but it’s unlikely to show up on the NYSE. Insurance fraud has been the favored crime for unethical white-collar workers looking to fake injuries, and they’ve also began denting their cars, to claim a quick bundle. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), questionable claims went up by 27% between 2010 and 2012. That figure breaks down to 9% between 2010 and 2011, and 16% between 2011 and 2012. Insurance fraud investigators must have had a heyday.  

Rising fraud insurance claims is hardly a US phenomenon. In the UK, bogus car insurance claims went up by 20% since 2012. Fake car crashes led to a combined fraud of £811m in 2013, with the total fraud up by 18% over the previous year.

Regional winners

The cities with the highest levels of insurance fraud were New York with 13,564 questionable claims, Los Angeles with 7,779, Miami with 5,503, Houston with 5,464, and Baltimore with 3,690.
State-wise, California lead the way by a huge margin with 58,415 suspected cases of fraud from 2010 to 2012. Following were Florida with 29,086 cases, Texas at 27,107, New York at 23,402, and Maryland at 10,315. Population-wise, the states most vulnerable to insurance fraud were Kentucky, where suspected fraud levels rose by 89%, Vermont by 88%, Rhode Island by 81%, Alaska by 75%, and Maryland by 70%.

Popular schemes

Said to be the easiest kind of insurance fraud, deliberately damaged cars made up the bulk of nationwide fraud cases, with 209,724 suspected fraud claims. Home insurance was the second most common source of insurance scam, with 40,747 questionable claims, after which worker salary and liability policy scams accounted for 11,151 cases. Commercial car and liability insurance generated a combined 17,031 cases. However, fire insurance and personal property insurance companies breathed a little easy, since they saw the number of questionable claims drop slightly from 2010 to 2012.
Those slipping and falling their way to insurance claims were under the radar, with insurance companies referring over 50,000 cases to the NICB and surveillance investigators for review. Also under scrutiny were questionable theft of heavy equipment and vehicles with 35,508 questionable claims, miscellaneous property damage or prior loss at 29,646 claims, suspicious loss of miscellaneous belongings at 29,017 claims, and suspicious loss or theft of belongings at 24,867 claims.

Insurance scams are common because instigators often encourage customers and family members to use them to save some money, making the scams look easy. As a result, innocent insurance customers have to pay higher rates and premiums. If you suspect or know someone of participating in insurance fraud, don’t be an onlooker – inform the authorities.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Staycation

In 2012, Superstorm Sandy was one of the most destructive hurricanes to ever blow up the Atlantic coastline, ultimately causing an estimated $65 billion in damage. The second most-costly hurricane in U.S. history also opened the floodgates for fraudsters to take advantage of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) program. Today’s “Fraud of the Day” focuses on the owner of a New Jersey motel who attempted to steal tens of thousands of dollars in disaster relief funds he did qualify for nor deserve.

FEMA’s TSA program provides evacuees with short-term lodging assistance when they are unable to return home following a disaster due to inaccessibility or uninhabitable conditions. If eligible, disaster survivors are allowed to stay in a hotel or motel for a limited amount of time and FEMA will cover the room and taxes associated with their stay. (Incidental charges, room service and pay-per-view binges are not allowed.)

A New Jersey motel owner got into trouble after fraudulently obtaining more than $80,000 from the TSA program. His scam involved billing FEMA for 11 individuals, but in reality only three of them actually stayed at the motel. (FEMA paid the motel owner $133.28 per day for each room occupied by the storm victims.)

The motel owner also fraudulently billed the disaster relief program for stays of multiple weeks or months, when that didn’t really happen. Then he tried to use the names of relatives who lived in the area, but were not displaced by the storm to submit claims worth more than $50,000. (This fraudster must have mistakenly believed that FEMA was in the business of paying for staycations.)

The 44-year-old motel owner pleaded guilty to theft by deception and was sentenced to three years in prison for fraudulently claiming that his establishment temporarily housed Superstorm Sandy victims. He has already paid full restitution of $81,567.

FEMA’s TSA program is intended to provide relief funds for disaster victims, not become a source of additional income for fraudsters trying to make some easy money. While Superstorm Sandy may have led criminals to believe that it opened the floodgates to steal undeserved government funds; however, the Justice system has definitely slammed the jail cell door shut on this fraudster and many others. (It looks like he’ll be spending the next three years on a different type of staycation.)