Staged car accidents and other auto insurance scams have become a “cottage industry” in states like New York and Florida, with organized criminal gangs and crooked medical facilities bilking hundreds of millions of dollars from insurance companies and hiking rates for innocent drivers. The problem is outlined in this television report released last night from CBS News.
nefarious – and pointedly obnoxious – cartoon character called “Frankie the Fraudster” was today named a 2012 spokesman for New Yorkers Stand Against Insurance Fraud (NYSAIF), an organization of drivers fighting rampant auto insurance fraud in the Empire State. The so-called “Fraud Tax” has cost New Yorkers more than $1 billion in higher auto premiums over the past five years. Drivers here pay 53% more for auto insurance on average than other Americans. “Frankie the Fraudster” personifies the thousands of criminals at work every day, crashing into innocent drivers and running up fraudulent medical bills as a way to scam New York’s loophole-ridden “No Fault Insurance” system.
Millions of New Yorkers were offended and a community was terrified by the seemingly anti-Semitic car firebombings in Midwood, Brooklyn last November. But the crime that rattled the city has turned out to be just a smoke screen to conceal more auto insurance fraud – a crime that costs New Yorkers millions of dollars a year and puts lives at risk.