North Carolina insurance commissioner Wayne Goodwin is the new chair of the NAIC’s antifraud task force. He replaces long-time chair Sandy Praeger, who retired as Kansas insurance commissioner at the end of 2014.
We invited Commissioner Goodwin to be our guest blogger this week. He discusses emerging fraud trends his fraud bureau sees, and ongoing schemes he battles year in and year out.
We have the oldest insurance fraud bureau in the country. We are celebrating our 70th anniversary this year. We have a proud history, but we know that success in fighting fraud hinges on keeping in front of evolving criminal trends.
Fraudsters can cripple our economy unless we find a way to combat their unscrupulous acts. Far from being a victimless crime, every policyholder foots the bill for insurance fraud.
Technology is a common denominator in many of the fraud trends we are currently seeing. It’s amazing how sophisticated criminals have become. With the hardware and software currently on the market, criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated. With the advent of digital currency as a method of payment, I am sure we will see this become a factor in insurance fraud.
Cyber laundering is a new way to hide the proceeds of crime, and fighting money laundering in cyberspace is a daunting task for law enforcement agencies. There is little to no training available, and it is my hope the antifraud task force can draw attention to this issue and create training to combat this new criminal element.
Staged crashes have been a common scheme over the years, but more recently they’ve taken on a new twist. We are seeing more cases in which people stage actual car crashes rather than cases in which the accidents only occur on paper in insurance documents.
Furthermore, to take advantage of the medical payouts associated with staged crashes, some people include children into their schemes. When individuals resort to involving children in a car accident for money, there is a whole new level of concern.
We have to get ahead of the trends, and we can do that with proper training and equipment. I read that the Coalition has determined 95 percent of states are using some form of anti-fraud technology. With the reductions to state budgets, I was excited to hear this. States do take insurance fraud seriously.
The mission of the antifraud task force is to serve the public interest by assisting the state insurance regulatory officials, individually and collectively. We are promoting the public interest through the detection, monitoring and appropriate referral for investigation of insurance crime, both by and against consumers.
I want those who commit insurance fraud to know that we are united in our efforts, and will do all that we can to stop them. I look forward to our relationship with the Coalition and can’t wait to get started.