When it comes to disability and worker compensation fraud investigations, private investigators must be ready to obtain a wealth of information on a claimant’s whereabouts. Sometimes, those receiving payments for disability and workers compensation feel they can attempt to cheat the system and continue to receive payments even after their injury is no longer part of the picture.
Let’s put it this way. You’ve been injured on the job. You file for disability or workers compensation. You’re collecting payments. What do you do? Well, first and foremost, you should be responsible. Attend your scheduled medical appointments. Rest at home while you recuperate. Make sure you follow your doctor’s orders.
Or, you can risk everything and attempt to cheat the system.
What would you do? Would you take a vacation to California? Would you try end up a game show? Even better, would you aspire to be a contestant on The Price Is Right?
Well, one woman got extremely lucky and had her game-show aspirations both realized and derailed when she was caught committing disability fraud.
As most of us already know, just about everyone utilizes social media on a daily basis. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Tumblr are just a few of the myriad options available. Also, as most of us already know, there is always some new scammer ready to attempt to rip off personal information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc.
According to Pew Research Center, as of last year, “For the first time, more than half of all online adults 65 and older (56%) use Facebook. This represents 31% of all seniors.” In addition, “49 percent of individuals 50 years of age and older are victims of fraud,” states the 2013 FTC annual report (via AMAC).
Workers compensation laws are intended to protect employees who get hurt in the workplace. Federal employees are entitled to two-thirds of their monthly salaries when out on disability, and even more if they are permanently hurt. All states have their own compensation laws. While these laws are vital to the stability of society, they can be corrupted. Employers must investigate individual cases to prevent themselves from being taken advantage of. In fact, workers compensation fraud costs insurance companies and the public more than 60 billion dollars every year.
Here is the golden rule of not becoming a victim of a scam, especially those involving money: Never give your credit card, social security number, or any other financial information out over the phone, by mail, or by email unless you initiate the contact and know who you are dealing with.
The following are some “red flags” that should warn you a letter, phone call, or email you received may be a scam:
- High-pressure tactics. Beware of phrases like “You will lose out if you don’t act now” or “Don’t discuss your sweepstakes winnings with anyone until you get your check.”
- Upfront payment. If you are told you must pay up front to receive your prize or winnings, it’s likely a scam. If you’ve won something, it’s yours. You should not have to pay anything in advance, including taxes or shipping and handling.
- Refusal to provide written information. If the person or company contacts you but refuses to give information in writing, don’t do business with them.
- Unrealistic profits. Be skeptical if you are told that you can make lots of money quickly with no risk, with no experience, or with no training.
If you receive a phone call, letter, or email that includes any of these red flags, just hang up (or ignore it if it’s a letter or email). Remember, telemarketing fraud is a crime, and the people who practice it are criminals.
If it’s too late, and you’ve already been scammed, call J.P. Investigations right away at 1-877-990-2111. Our team of private investigators is at your service.
Insurance fraud happens all the time, and it may appear that people get away with insurance fraud, including life insurance, Medicare/Medicaid, auto liability, disability, and workers compensation. J.P. Investigative Group works on insurance fraud cases all the time with very favorable results.
While we’re on the topic of insurance fraud, here’s a handy website that provides a list of those who were arrested and convicted for insurance fraud! (This list is updated daily.)
J.P. Investigative Group is a well-regarded private investigations firm that has worked with numerous adjusters on insurance fraud cases. Our corporate headquarters are located in Charlotte, NC. Call us today at 1-877-990-2111 to assign us your next case, or go directly to our website and submit your case online.
The holidays are now in full swing, and so are instances of fraud. Sedgwick has a great blog post detailing what you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of fraud.
At J.P. Investigative Group, we sometimes receive cases in which the client has been involved in a scam. In a recent case, upon further research using information provided by the client, we quickly discovered the scammer’s websites were fraudulent. How? It’s a lot easier than you think to identify potentially fraudulent websites, and all it takes is a few minutes.
Here are three fast tips for identifying potentially fraudulent websites: Continue reading