Weekly Car Insurance Crime Watch: December 13th

Silver handcuff and dollar bank notes The news doesn’t stop, because crime never does either.

With the deluge of crime stories that Online Auto Insurance News (OAIN) sees every day relating to car coverage, here is a roundup of this week’s biggest headline-grabbing yarns.

And it certainly is a deluge. This Friday the 13th, we’ll touch on bad luck for some alleged criminals and good luck for a vintage car owner (who subsequently spurns it).

Woman Tries ‘Sister, Sister’ Ploy, Gets Arrested

Sister Act,” this is not.

A woman was arrested last week by Louisiana State Police for filing claims with an auto insurer, “alleging to be her own sister and naming herself as a defendant,” according to The Franklin Sun.

Remember, Sister No. 1, fraud makes it hard for anyone to get cheaper auto insurance, and defrauding Sister No. 2 specifically makes it harder for her.

But Erica Foy (Sister No. 1) likely overlooked that lesson in a crash claim to Progressive under the name of Meisha Foy (Sister No. 2). The claim alleged that Meisha  “backed her 2005 Altima into the rear driver’s door of Erica Foy’s 2009 Impala.”

Further investigation, which began after Meisha denied knowledge of the claim, found that Erica had a “pattern” of submitting fraudulent claims. She now faces five counts of insurance fraud.

Stolen Car Turns Up, Man Turns It Down

Last week, we covered a holiday-themed story in which a stolen motorcycle was recovered decades later and returned to its owner.

This week, we cover the reverse.

Pennsylvania resident Ralph Wright’s Ford Model A was stolen this summer and recovered weeks ago. But, on Tuesday, Lancaster Online reported that Wright “no longer wants it.”

Wright had received the vintage piece of machinery as a Father’s Day gift around a dozen years ago. But, in a fashion befitting an 84-year-old, Wright said that getting the vehicle back would be “more of a hassle” than he needs.

“Before too long, I’m going to have to give up my driver’s license,” he said in the report, which added that the vehicle’s insurer offered a $20,000 settlement to Wright.

“Standard practice is that once a claim is paid, what if anything that is left of the property reverts to the insurer,” the insurer said in the report. “This was an unusual claim as the car was recovered after the claim was paid in full.”

‘Glass Harvesters’ Nabbed for $100K Rip-off

What’s a “glass harvest”?

Not the newest entry to the “Children of the Corn” series. Not a new kind of green energy. Not a euphemism for what Walter White did over the course of five seasons.

It’s what led to the arrest of three people that the California Department of Insurance (CDI) accuses of being a part of a crime ring that filed more than 1,000 auto insurance claims based on “false windshield chip” repairs.

The total rip-off: $100,000. (Puny, by Walter White’s standards of his own, different kind of glass harvest.)

Three other suspects are at large, according to the CDI, which said in an announcement last week that the group began with “legitimate” and “authorized” work before parlaying their knowledge of the business toward the dark, dirty world of criminality (insert last, overreaching Walter White reference here).

Putting pop culture references completely aside, CDI said that consumers should check their repair records. Drivers who have had work done by Safetek Auto Glass Consulting, Auto Glass Professional and Clear View Autoglass “should check their insurance carrier to ensure no additional, potentially fraudulent claims were filed on their policy.”

About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for Patch.com and the Desert Dispatch and was the editor in chief of the Guardian (the twice-weekly newspaper at the University of California, San Diego) before coming to Online Auto Insurance News.

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