Fake Auto Accidents and Insurance Claims Result in 10 Arrests

Auto insurance fraud has resulted in the arrest of 10 people and warrants issued for six more, according to the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI). The department says that these 16 individuals are connected to an alleged staged auto accident ring that operated in Nash, Edgecombe and Franklin counties in North Carolina.

Over $76,000 Paid in False Claims

NCDOI investigators have said that the individuals accused in the case filed are suspected of making claims on collisions that never happened or staged accidents by intentionally ramming their own vehicles from behind.

As a result, at least five auto insurance companies paid out a total of $76,217 on suspect claims between August and January 2010.

The two alleged ringleaders identified in the crimes were brothers Howard Earl Whitfield, Jr. and Douglas Whitfield. The other suspects are said to range in age from 18 to 44.

Why Fraud Isn’t the Way to Go

It seems that the ailing economy has aided in the belief that auto insurance fraud is an acceptable route to take to acquire money. This is most likely why more law-abiding citizens are committing insurance fraud.

But while many people don’t see auto insurance fraud as a bad crime because they believe car insurance companies have plenty of money and won’t miss the little that’s taken, the repercussions for the crime are still huge and outweigh the benefits of getting away with it.

If you’re hurting for money and find yourself tempted to commit some type of fraud, remember that lawmakers push to stop fraud at every turn, making the odds of you getting away with it slim to none. Plus, such crimes cause auto insurance companies to raise rates in order to compensate for their losses, making insurance more expensive for everyone in the long run.

There are other ways to save money that won’t place you behind bars, so consider all of your options before you decide that auto insurance fraud is the route for you.