TUCSON, Ariz. — Fraud of all types is on the rise during the pandemic, everything from medical identity theft to secret life insurance policies.
James Quiggle with the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud says people are committing all types of fraud during the pandemic. The crimes include taking out secret life insurance policies and medical identity theft.
“Medical identity theft is off the charts. It's hard to get away with but many people can take out life insurance policies of up to $500,000 without needing an exam. Especially with insurance being sold by phone and digitally,” Quiggle said.
Quiggle says thieves can destroy your credit and health insurance eligibility, and it’s always a good idea to double-check your statements for both.
“People are stealing your medical identity to make false claims against your policies for themselves. Your medical identity can be sold and bartered for big money on the dark web. Which is hard to trace and claims are being made on your policy behind your back.” Quiggle said.
Experts say the same types of fraud happened during the 2008-2010 recession. Victims might get phone calls and bills out of the blue about life insurance and more.
“If you get marketing phone calls from people trying to sign you up with a strange doctor that you never met for medical procedures like cancer testing or DNA testing, wheelchairs, or back braces they could be trying to sign you up for scam exams,” Quiggle said.
You can check with the Medical Information Bureau consumer database to get a free copy of your annual disclosure to see what’s been submitted under your name for new life insurance policies over the last 2 years. You can also call the listed insurance company for details.
"Insurance companies are very concerned that financially desperate people are going to resort to insurance fraud to save money, pay their mortgage, or prevent their car from being repossessed. Companies are very vigilant, they require a medical test and have a technician come to your home. They take blood samples and other information," He said.
This story was first published by Shawndrea Thomas at KGUN in Tucson, Arizona.