Pennsylvania’s Idiots, Liars, & Losers

The Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (IFPA) uses a somewhat unique approach to combating insurance fraud.

The agency has created a series of videos that offer re-enactments of actual insurance fraud cases. On its YouTube channel titled “See How They Lie“, the videos have names like:

  • Desperate in Doylestown
  • Rotten In Reading
  • Boneheaded in Bethlehem
  • Shameless in Somerset
  • Clueless in Clearfield

The videos take a somewhat humorous approach while at the same time emphasizing the serious nature of insurance fraud and the significant penalties associated with such a crime, including jail time.

To give you a sense of the nature of the videos, here’s Boneheaded in Bethlehem:

The campaign reminds me of the Farmers Insurance commercials that highlight wacky (yet in this case, legitimate) insurance claims.

The IFPA also has a Twitter account which is used to share insurance fraud cases in PA and around the country. Here’s an example of a recent tweet:

The recent set of videos is the second insurance fraud awareness campaign launched by IFPA. The first campaign was a series of TV and radio commercials to make consumers aware of what is considered insurance fraud, and what the penalties are for engaging in such behavior.

Each commercial illustrated a different type of fraud through the use of a real-life situation. In TV spots and radio commercials, scenarios depict a “point of decision” where the unwary or unwise consumer could make a bad choice. The objective of the campaign is to reduce instances of “opportunistic” fraud – situations where people are presented with opportunities to make a good or bad decision.

Here is a link to those set of commercials.

And here’s a brief PSA, from the IFPA web site:

In Pennsylvania‚ insurance fraud is a felony‚ punishable by up to seven years in prison and up to $15‚000 in fines. There’s also restitution‚ court costs‚ and lawyer’s fees to pay. Plus‚ those who are convicted get a felony charge on their record that follows them for life‚ and that can stand in the way of securing employment or housing.

The crime also brings with it consequences on the home front. Someone with a felony conviction often risks damaging his or her relationship with friends and family‚ is made an outcast within the community‚ and is viewed as an undesirable employee – or ex–employee‚ in some cases.

Bottom line, insurance fraud is simply not worth it.

One final thought:

When I watch these videos on insurance fraud, the people committing the crimes are usually made out to be kind of dumb. But I would have no idea how to even begin trying to pull off some of the scams that are highlighted. I guess insurance fraud is one more thing I’ll have to my list of “Things I Have No Idea How To Do“, and I’m OK with that…


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Jim Borden

Accounting Prof. at Villanova; happily married for 30+ years; father of 3 outstanding young men; vegan; interests: fitness, creativity, education, blogging, social media.

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