TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (OIFP) Insurance Fraud Awareness today announced the launch of an advertising campaign urging New Jerseyans to report insurance fraud and put a stop to a crime that costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year. The initiative, which coincides with October’s Insurance Fraud Awareness Month, also includes a new OIFP webpage to make reporting fraud easier.
The new campaign’s slogan “Insurance Fraud. Report It. End It.” began appearing last week in ads running on billboards and buses throughout the state and on cable television. Throughout the three-month campaign, the ads will also appear on social networks, radio, and at college and professional sporting events in the state.
“Insurance fraud isn’t a victimless crime. Honest taxpayers are paying the price through higher insurance premiums and increased costs for goods and services,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Our ad campaign encourages New Jerseyans to fight back and warns insurance cheats of the consequences.”
The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates approximately $80 billion in fraudulent claims are made annually in the United States. This figure includes all lines of insurance.
Insurance companies generally must pass the costs of bogus claims — and of fighting fraud — onto policyholders. This contributes to a premium spiral that can price essential insurance coverage — often state required — beyond the reach of many consumers and businesses.
Businesses facing rising insurance premiums cover the increases by charging higher prices for goods and services, forcing consumers to once again absorb the cost of fraud.
“To mark the start of Insurance Fraud Awareness month, we’re calling on the public to protect their own financial interests by reporting fraud, and we’re making it easier than ever for them to do it,” said Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Tracy M. Thompson. “We have also unveiled an updated and more user-friendly online reporting form on our webpage at www.NJInsuranceFraud.org . By simplifying the reporting process we hope to encourage more consumers to join our fight to end insurance fraud.”
The webpage also provides information on what constitutes insurance fraud and how to identify its various forms, including incidents of elder abuse committed against Medicaid recipients or at facilities that receive Medicaid funding
During the month of October, Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Thompson will commemorate Insurance Fraud Awareness month by conducting a series of interviews and educational events to call attention to the problem of fraud and inform the public on how to identify and deter it.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Thompson noted that some important cases have started with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting the Web site at www.njinsurancefraud.org. State regulations permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution and conviction for insurance fraud.