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New Yorkers dump their vehicles to collect insurance payouts.

Albany, N.Y. -- Looking for a quick fix to their financial problems, some New Yorkers see insurance fraud as a solution, setting tire to their cars and trucks, abandoning their vehicles or having them disposed of so they can collect insurance claims dollars, according to the New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud (NYAAIF).

In response to an increase this form of insurance fraud, often called owner give-ups, since the beginning of the economic downturn, law enforcement authorities and insurance investigators are taking a close look at suspicious claims involving vehicle tires and theft.

For example, a New York City woman who filed an insurance claims for the theft of her Nissan Altima was arrested last year after her car was found damaged by tire. An investigation by the New York State Insurance Frauds Bureau and New York City tire marshals concluded that the vehicle, factory equipped with a system that only permits operation with a programmed key, was not forcibly entered, the keys had not been duplicated and there was no evidence that the door locks or ignition systems were defeated. The woman was arrested and charged with insurance fraud.

"Working in cooperation with the Frauds Bureau and other law enforcement agencies, insurance industry fraud investigators, are increasingly vigilant about owner give-ups and are aggressively investigating them," Ellen Melchionni, spokesperson for the Group said. "People seeking to relieve themselves of car payments and other financial burdens through insurance fraud face criminal penalties if convicted of this crime."

NYAAIF is a cooperative effort by insurance companies in New York to educate consumers about the costs of insurance fraud, the many forms it can take and what they can do to fight back.

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Title Annotation:CRACK DOWN
Publication:Insurance Advocate
Date:Jan 10, 2011
Words:281
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