The cost of fraud, which has an annual price tag of about $80 billion a year, is substantial to insurers as well as the general public. Special investigation units (SIU) put in place by insurers manage a multitude of ever-changing instances of suspected fraud.
The International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU) recently held a seminar and expo on insurance fraud to educate investigators about the latest trends and how to stop fraud by using the hottest tools available. Highlights of the conference were covered by Property Casualty 360° in a recent article.
Investigators, many of whom are former military and law enforcement professionals, learned about these newest scams and what they should look for in identifying them, places to find fraudsters, and how to conduct a thorough investigation.
Highlights in the seminar revealed:
- “Voice print” technology that tracks phone calls made by scammers: This technology can make a voice print, similar to a fingerprint, using biometrics to identify callers. Accents and other disguises to the voice will not defeat this technology.
- A new database of voice prints: NICE Contact Center Fraud Prevention is creating a database of those voice prints to help insurers track and identify fraudsters who repeatedly file false claims.
- Social media tools: These go beyond the traditional Google or Bing searches. Anyone using social media leaves a road map for investigators, allowing them to connect the dots between a scammer and his or her friends and associates without ever leaving their desks.
- Information gleaned from staged car fires: A burned-out vehicle has a story to tell if you know how to read the clues. By learning about the properties of fire, ignition sources, burn patterns, what to look for at a burn scene, what types of evidence can be found, the mistakes that fraudsters frequently make, and reading air velocity and direction, investigators can gather the necessary data to rule out or make a case for fraud.
Although fraudsters often stay ahead of the game by introducing new ways to swindle insurers, investigators are now better equipped to handle what comes their way thanks to innovative technologies and techniques.