(Mechanicsburg, PA—February 14, 2013) —The Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (IFPA) announced that reporting of insurance fraud in Pennsylvania increased by five percent from 2011 to 2012 thanks to the joint-effort of the insurance industry, state agencies and educated consumers.
Of the 3,274 fraud referrals received by the 11 law enforcement agencies funded by the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (IFPA), 2,302 referrals came from insurers, 240 from other state agencies and 732 from consumers.
“In 2012, we had 22 percent of referrals come from consumers,” said Ralph Burnham, executive director of the IFPA. “As a result of the outreach we’ve been doing through television and public relations consumers recognized when someone they knew was committing insurance fraud and they reported it. Educated consumers who take action like this are one of the industry’s best tools for fighting this crime in the Commonwealth.”
Insurers are also doing their part in this fight. In 2012, the number of fraud referrals reported by insurers doubled from those seen in any year prior to 2008. As a result of all reported insurance fraud, Pennsylvania law enforcement faced a 77 percent increase in their incoming workload compared to any year prior to 2008.
Most of the new investigations opened in 2012 were related to auto insurance fraud. However, the industry also saw notable increases in the number of new investigations opened in the commercial (35 percent increase), homeowners (33 percent increase), and healthcare (24 percent increase) sectors.
During 2012, IFPA grantees reported the arrests of 423 offenders; 69 percent of these arrests involved auto insurance fraud. IFPA grantees also reported that 394 individuals were prosecuted from 2012’s and prior year’s arrests. From prosecutions, defendants were ordered to pay $3,177,496 in restitution, $75,348 in fines and $130,860 in civil penalties.
Inquiries to the IFPA on insurance fraud may be addressed via email to Ms. Christine Cassel, IFPA Grants Administrator at [email protected] or by calling (717) 975-9074.
Report Insurance Fraud! A listing of law enforcement agencies that fight fraud can be found under “Reporting Insurance Fraud” at www.helpstopFRAUD.org. To report anonymously, consumers can call the tip line at 1-888-565-IFPA (4372).
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