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Gov. McAuliffe proclaims May 11–17 as “Insurance Fraud Awareness Week” in Virginia

To recognize the impact the crime of insurance fraud has
on all citizens of the commonwealth, Gov. Terry McAuliffe has proclaimed May
11 – 17, 2014, as Insurance Fraud Awareness Week in Virginia.

The crime of insurance fraud affects all Virginians – not only increasing the amount
of premiums paid, but also the costs of everyday purchases. Ranked second behind
tax evasion as the most common and costly white-collar crime in the United States,
insurance fraud costs the economy almost $85 billion a year according to the
Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. In Virginia, citizens may pay between $200
and $1,000 per year in additional insurance premiums and as much as
$1,000 more each year for the cost of goods and services due to the
negative economic impact of fraudulent insurance claims.

Insurance fraud comes in many forms and can be committed by anyone –
professional fraudsters and criminals, policyholders who submit fake or exaggerated
claims, or insurance professionals who take advantage of the unwary policyholder.
Since 1999, when the IFP was established as a unit in the Department of State
Police, more than 20,000 suspected incidences of insurance fraud have been
reported to the IFP, resulting in almost 2,500 arrests and more than $18
million in court-ordered restitution.

“Insurance Fraud Awareness Week” is an annual event designed to raise community
awareness of insurance fraud, create more widespread public knowledge of the IFP
and its purpose, and educate Virginia citizens in the prevention and reporting of
insurance fraud.

The Virginia State Police is committed to “Stamping Out” insurance fraud occurring
in the commonwealth. If citizens have knowledge of a fraudulent insurance scheme
or suspect they may have been the victim of insurance fraud, they are encouraged
to report the activity to the IFP on the toll-free hotline at 1-877-62FRAUD (1-877-
623-7283) or at www.StampOutFraud.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous, and a
reward up to $25,000 is available for tips leading to an arrest for the crime of
insurance fraud.