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Bbc “CLAIMED & SHAMED” debunks myth of ‘easy crime’ insurance fraud

The documentary series, Claimed and Shamed, shadows officers from the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, which launched in January, as they make arrests and investigate alleged frauds in various areas of the insurance industry.

The show covers fraud relating to personal injury, motor, home, pet and life insurance, according to executive producer Nick Cory-Wright, pictured, challenging the widely held notion that insurance fraud is an easy crime to get away with.

“I think insurance fraud has been perceived as an easy crime, but the show definitely drives home the message that this isn’t the case anymore,” he told Post.

“Whenever there is a recession, people are extra conscious about money, and we’re all aware of insurance premiums going up.

“However, the insurance industry has been working with the media more closely lately and lots of stories are coming out.”

Fraud awareness
Dave Wood, head of the IFED, told Post that the show provides another opportunity for his organisation to educate the population about the consequences of fraud.

“If you commit fraud, there’s a good chance you’ll get an IFED detective knocking on your door, and there’s no better medium than a national TV show which shows us, in every episode, going all over the country, knocking on doors and arresting people,” he said.

“I think [viewers] will be horrified at the lengths these people go to commit fraud, and I also believe they will be pleased that action is being taken and that there are consequences to committing fraud.

“We’ve been on Radio 4, The One Show, Fake Britain and ITV breakfast television, so the icing on the cake will be this 10-part series.”

Wood said that the show “wouldn’t have the impact without the arrests”, adding that filming was “a time-consuming and sometimes stressful process” for him and his detectives.

IFED’s expanding remit
Wood said that, while the majority of his department’s work focuses on motor insurance, he is keen to expand the unit’s scope to other types of fraud.

“We said from day one that we would spread our wings across the entire general insurance spectrum. We have made several arrests relating to travel, pets, commercial liability and personal liability, and we are currently investigating fake deaths,” he said.

IFED detectives have arrested more than 200 people since the unit’s launch on 3 January, well exceeding the original 100 fraudsters a year target the unit set prior to launch.

“I suppose the next step will be to further establish our reputation, because the project is going to be reviewed around this time next year,” Wood told Post.

Ben Fletcher, head of operations at the Insurance Fraud Bureau, who also appears on Claimed and Shamed, told Post that the programme “provides the industry with a vital opportunity to educate the public on the risks and serious consequences of committing insurance fraud”.

He added: “It’s not about making the IFB or any other contributor famous. It’s about sending a unified message to would-be fraudsters that it’s just not worth the risk.”

According to Fletcher, 15 fraudulent claims are exposed in the UK every hour, a fact which he feels members of the public should know.

He hopes that the programme will “highlight the industry’s strength in detecting fraud”.

Claimed and Shamed will air on BBC One on Monday to Friday at 11am for two weeks starting 15 October 2012.

Claimed and Shamed: the first five episodes

One
A man fakes his own personal injury claim using a nail gun; a would-be whiplash fraudster is caught out on bus CCTV; and the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department raids a suspected fraudulent accident management company.

Two
A fraudster who tried to cheat his way to £2.35m is caught red-handed; a major insurance fraud gang gets busted; and a teacher’s story of his burnt-out BMW goes up in smoke.

Three
A footballer who claimed he could not play is caught being awarded ‘man of the match’; a debt-ridden dentist fakes his own death; and the IFED executes a multi-location raid on a suspected motor fraud gang.

Four
A warehouse owner sends his own business up in smoke; bus CCTV proves a fraudster cannot be in two places at once; and insurance fraud in the art world.

Five
A claimant gets caught out at a theme park; a blazing Barnsley corner shop is not all it seems; and the IFED tracks down Chihuahuas who may have come back from the dead.

Author:    Carolina Parra-Serrano – POST online.co.uk

BBC ONE – Claimed & Shamed

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