People in Houston can earn up to $5,000 for reporting insurance fraud beginning next week. The Texas Association of SIUs has teamed up with the local Crime Stoppers organization to publicize a rewards program for providing tips about fraud schemes.
The program is scheduled to be announced in a news conference in Houston on Monday, so more details will be forthcoming. We hope this program is as successful as others around the country in encouraging honest citizens to help combat fraud.
Such programs do provide valuable leads on cases, but I think they are much more valuable in another sense. Huge roadside billboards — as well as posters, ads and tv commercials — that carry details about rewards programs serve as a reminder to would-be fraudsters about the downside in committing this crime. Knowing that a neighbor, co-worker or disgruntled ex-lover can profit by making a simple phone call is a strong deterrent.
I suspect publicizing rewards programs prevents at least as many frauds as it does in detecting them.
So, congratulations to the Texas investigators and everyone involved in the Houston program for helping to make a difference in curtailing fraud.