The first documented instance of insurance fraud occurred in 300 B.C. and continued to tiptoe through history, next landing on the historical timeline in Ancient Rome.
Roman Poet Marcus Valerius Martialis (“Marital”) highlighted the evolution of the crime, referencing a suspected arson scheme where the homeowner recouped 5 times the value of his house. While house fires were common for the time, the potential for recouping far more than the original value was suspicious, and outside observers naturally questioned whether the fire was accidental or intentional.
Risk versus reward motivates a fraudster
Motivation is a key aspect of insurance fraud schemes across the historical timeline. A prudent fraudster must calculate the risk versus reward of attempting to commit their chosen fraud. The chance to recoup a greatly inflated value of, say, a house would certainly motivate those willing to take risks, especially if they found themselves under financial pressure.
Financial crimes, while ever evolving and often challenging to detect, must first bypass the eyes of watchful observers. This becomes a significant consideration for the would-be fraudster.
- Who will notice?
- How long can I keep this up?
- Will someone turn me in?
Peers and co-workers can deter fraudsters
A fraudster’s family, peers, and co-workers are the first line of moral defense against insurance fraud. Untold crimes have been averted well before they ever happened simply because someone would likely notice that the scam was occurring.
Unfortunately, a small subset of the population may remain willing to step over that moral line to attempt an insurance fraud scam. Where, then, do those watchful observers turn?
ICW Group offers an Anti-Fraud Hotline 855.ICW.FRAUD (855.429.3728). This serves as a place for witnesses and educated observers to report their concerns.
To get the word out, take a look at the wealth of resources currently available to ICW Group policyholders, providing multiple avenues of sharing our Anti-Fraud Hotline with your Teams so that if they do see something, they know how to say something.