SIU Corner: Organized Crime and Insurance Fraud

Foreign intrigue thrives on Main Street USA — in the form of sophisticated foreign crime rings that are actively engaged in insurance fraud throughout the country.

And no one — particularly a lucrative target like a trucking organization — is insulated from that risk.

Consider recent headlines and the stories they summarize: Fraud. Why Should I Worry?1
“Insurance crooks are picking your pocket to line theirs. These thieves are committing insurance fraud — one of America’s largest crimes. Insurance fraud occurs every day and in every state.”

Plundering America. The Cuban Criminal Pipeline2
“Cuban crime rings are staging car accidents for insurance fraud, hijacking trucks and selling their Medicare numbers to provide for their families in Cuba.”

Transnational Crime Gangs Make Fraud a Global Epidemic3
“Insurance fraud also funds terrorism. The absence of reliable government and other legitimate means of funding terror forces terrorists to resort to crime. Much involves white-collar crime, including insurance schemes.”

Organized crime rings — composed of individuals from politically or economically challenged regions — are motivated to come to America for a hefty payoff. As Security Intelligence4 reports, the size of these groups makes it possible to file multiple claims and stay under the radar for years while they amass literally millions before they are caught.

If they are caught.

Describing these organized crime rings as “more Mafia than Madoff,” Insurance Fraud News5 notes that staged-accident scams or cargo-container hijackings involve “sophisticated processes and lots of players.”

So what’s a trucker to do? First and foremost, recognize the risk. Remain vigilant, and if something seems amiss, never hesitate to question the story being presented. It may be one of those trust-your-gut, better-safe-than-sorry moments. If you suspect you have been the victim of fraud, report it — to your local law enforcement agency, as well as the National Insurance Crime Bureau at 800.TEL.NICB (800.835.6422) or You can even text the keyword “FRAUD” along with your tip to TIP411 (847411) or download the NICB Fraud Tips app for your iPhone or iPad. Of course, never hesitate to call Canal for additional insight as well. Together, we can make a dent in organized crime.