Poor economy leading to a rise in false auto insurance claims

Driven by tough economic times, there has been a significant rise in fraudulent auto insurance claims by those looking to make a quick buck. However, the rise in false claims has been noticed by the authorities, who are now looking for ways to put an end to the trend.

Driven by tough economic times, there has been a significant rise in fraudulent auto insurance claims by those looking to make a quick buck. However, the rise in false claims has been noticed by the authorities, who are now looking for ways to put an end to the trend.

On August 6, Georgia Insurance Commissioner John W. Oxendine announced that 44-year-old Yvonne Louise Smith and 24-year-old Emanuel Parker were arrested and charged with insurance fraud, reckless conduct, and giving false statements after attempting to claim $23,000 in false insurance claims by staging an accident with a rented U-Haul truck and Smith's car containing her, her daughter, and her five-year-old granddaughter.

One day later, Florida deputies arrested 53-year-old Marsha Saxton after uncovering her part in a plan to steal her boyfriend's 2003 Corvette, sell it and then file a false claim to collect the $24,000 that the car was valued at, according to the Naples News. Local NBC affiliate NBC-2 added that the crime was uncovered through a new Financial Crimes Bureau launched months ago to combat the rise in fraudulent insurance.

"I will put this out as a warning, if you're thinking about doing this type of activity to get yourself from underneath a payment you can't handle, this is not the way to do it," said Lt. Chad Parker with the CCSO Financial Crimes Bureau, according to NBC-2.

In 2008 a rise in auto insurance scams were also reported in Mississippi, California, Nevada, and New Jersey as well, according to Kiplinger.

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Posted: August 10, 2009

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