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Utah Insurance

Insurance Scammers & Cybercrime: On the Rise

Awareness is your best defense against insurance scammers and hackers who want to steal your information.

Most cybercrimes involve identity theft. Criminals steal personal information to hack accounts and access funds. Identity theft can lead to insurance fraud. Here are come common scams.

Phishing — Scammers impersonate legitimate entities using malicious emails and texts to trick you into giving them your sensitive information. If you suspect a phishing attack, contact the proper entity directly to verify the request is real.

Formjacking — Cyber scammers hack a legitimate website to steal user information. Each time a customer fills out a form, a duplicate of the entered information is sent to the scammer. Contact the company if you supect formjacking.

False Quizzes — Swindlers use surveys and quizzes to pry loose personal data. Launching a quiz app may give permission to pull information from your social media profile or phone, giving hackers an opening to steal your identity.

Public Wi-Fi — Using public Wi-Fi at coffee shops, libraries, or other locations puts you at risk for having information stolen. Avoid storing sensitive information on your phone and never share personal information over public Wi-Fi.

If you become the victim of a scam or suspect fraud, report it. You can report insurance scams and fraud to the Utah Insurance Department at https://insurance.utah.gov/consumer/fraud/report-fraud.

You can also report scams to other government agencies at:

Description of cyber crime and insurance scams

Insurance Scammers & Cybercrime: On the Rise

Telemedicine: Safe Steps for Patients

Covid-19 is spurring telemedicine growth. Plan ahead, stay alert, and be aware of costly scams.

Verify Coverage — More insurers are covering telemed, but verify coverage before setting your appointment.

Telemed App — Learn how your telemed app or online portal works, and test it before you use it.

Quiet Area — Set up in a quiet area with good lighting, and make sure your device is plugged in or charged.

Prescriptions — Have your prescriptions ready so you can discuss them accurately.

Refuse Strangers — Scammers try to lure you with “free” exams by doctors you don’t know. They steal your ID and insurance and may falsely bill you too.

Fishy Charges — Check for bogus charges, like a 30-minute session that was billed as an hour.

If you suspect that you’re a victim of telemedicine fraud, report it safely, easily, and anonymously at https://insurance.utah.gov/consumer/fraud/report-fraud.

Description of telemedicine and its potential scams

Telemedicine: Safe Steps for Patients

Fraud Awareness: 5 Ways to Stay Safe

Stay alert to insurance scams year-round. Get the most out of your insurance policies. Be safe, know the warning signs — and report scams.

Home Repairs — Avoid storm chasers who knock on your door for repair work after storms.

Bandit Towing — Never deal with a random tow truck that just shows up at the crash scene.

Staged Crashes — Drive safely. Watch for cars that suddenly pull in front of yours.

Medicare Alert — Hang up on callers demanding your personal info to “update” your Medicare account.

Telemedicine — Ignore pitches for “free” video health exams & back braces requiring your personal info.

If you suspect an insurance scheme, report it safely, easily, and anonymously at https://insurance.utah.gov/consumer/fraud/report-fraud.

5 Ways to Stay Safe

Don’t Stimulate Fraud

Economic stimulus payments arriving now from the federal government are an enticing target for scammers. They have many too-good-to-be-true methods for taking your money:

  • Stimulus payment scams — Fake phone calls and phishing schemes try to get your stimulus cash. The IRS won’t phone, text, or email you about your payment and won’t require a fee to get it.
  • Contractor scams — Con artists may try to persuade you to sign over your stimulus payment or charge your insurance for poor home improvement work or damage repair.
  • Fake insurance protections — Scammers are offering low-priced “corona insurance” to cover COVID-19 treatment. Just hang up.
  • Trip cancellation insurance — Standard travel insurance may not cover pandemics. Be wary of offers that cover COVID-19 related trip cancellations.

If you suspect an insurance scheme, report it safely, easily, and anonymously at https://insurance.utah.gov/consumer/fraud/report-fraud.

Don’t Stimulate Fraud

COVID-19 and Workers Comp Fraud

As employers and employees are getting used to new work arrangements, it’s important to consider how they relate to workers compensation insurance.

  1. Remote: Work from home orders are redefining what a work injury may mean.
  2. Quarantine Injury Claims: When workers work from home, what counts as a workplace?
  3. Telemedicine: Telemedicine visits are convenient but may not cover all workplace injury needs.
  4. Be Honest: Employers and insurers need to share information with employees on what is covered and how to report a claim.
  5. Stop the Fraud: Committing fraud ruins careers and lives. Report all suspected insurance fraud to the Fraud Division at https://insurance.utah.gov/consumer/fraud/report-fraud.

COVID-19 and Workers Comp Fraud

Beware of COVID-19 Car Insurance Scams

The Utah Insurance Department’s Fraud Division is cautioning Utah drivers about potential car insurance fraud that may take place during the current health crisis.

Staged Accidents: Scammers set you up for an accident to make an insurance claim. Fewer drivers mean fewer witnesses.

Auto Repair Fraud: Scammers charge excessive fees for disinfecting & cleaning vehicles due to COVID-19. Be suspicious of high fees for cleaning and storage.

Phantom Victims: People not in the car during the accident attempt to file injury claims, hoping for a quick settlement with no investigation. Make sure to exchange ALL relevant information after an accident.

Be vigilant, and contact the Fraud Division if you believe you may have been a victim of insurance fraud.

By phone: (801) 468-0233 or (844) 373-0233
By email: Armand Glick, aglick@utah.gov
Online: https://insurance.utah.gov/consumer/fraud/report-fraud

COVID-19 Car Insurance Scams

Defendant: Ibrahima Sariba Bangoura

a.k.a. Sariba Bangoura

A warrant of arrest was issued on October 7, 2018.

INSURANCE FRAUD, SECOND DEGREE FELONY

FORGERY, 5 COUNTS, THIRD DEGREE FELONY

THIRD DISTRICT COURT, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH

Bail: $5,000

Defendant: Jorge L. Pitta

Jorge L Pitta

A warrant of arrest was issued on May 15, 2012 for:

FRAUDLENT INSURANCE ACT, ONE COUNT, THIRD DEGREE FELONY

IDENTITY FRAUD, THREE COUNTS, THIRD DEGREE FELONIES

FORGERY, FIVE COUNTS, THIRD DEGREE FELONIES

THEFT, ONE COUNT, CLASS B MISDEMEANOR

THIRD DISTRICT COURT, SLC, UTAH

Bail: $10,000