Ontarians don’t know where to report fraud: Poll

58% not sure where to report fraudulent activity at health clinics.

During Fraud Awareness month this March, organizations across the country have been explaining to customers and the public what to look out for when it comes to fraudulent behavior. But, surprisingly, a recent Pollara Poll suggests these same people still don’t know where to report fraudulent activity.

“Ontarians can draw the conclusion that fraud has an influence on the price of auto insurance. But we know when fraudsters cheat, you pay,” said Ralph Palumbo, vice president, Ontario region, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

The vast majority of Ontarians (83%) believe insurance fraud occurs frequently or occasionally in the province. Very few (14%) see it as a rare occurrence. Almost everyone in the province (96%) sees the link between insurance fraud and higher premiums for drivers.

The Pollara Poll also found that 72% of Ontarians would likely report a person in the health industry who commits insurance fraud. However, the majority of Ontarians (58%) would not know where to report someone working in a health clinic that was engaging in fraudulent activity.

When presented with options for reporting, the majority choose the police (68%), or their insurance company/broker/agent (67%). Fewer would report fraud to Ontario’s insurance regulator (51%) and Ontario’s regulator of health practitioners or health clinics (47%).

All of these work, but the key is in streamlining the process and getting people to make the call.

IBC advises Canadians to report fraudulent activity by calling its anonymous TIPS line (1-877-IBC TIPS). Also, for fraud prevention tips visit IBC’s website at ibc.ca, blog at getintheknow.ibc.ca or follow IBC on Twitter @insurancebureau.  IBC tweets fraud prevention tips every Friday with the hash tag #fraudfightingfriday.

Insurance fraud comes in many forms, and perpetrators don’t always look like criminals. Sometimes it’s the work of organized groups – including associated service providers (eg. medical rehab clinics, tow truck drivers) – or gangs that stage collisions or coordinate the shipping of stolen vehicles overseas. But insurance fraud can also involve normally law-abiding citizens who see a chance to make extra dollars by padding an otherwise legitimate claim.

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