NICB Reports Efforts to Fund Models for Street/Drag Racing Can Lead to Fraud

July 2, 2001

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), illegal street racing may be “Fast and Furious” as a popular film suggests, but the real production is largely funded by fraud and theft.

The popular film depicts a world whose youthful inhabitants are able to afford expensive import/sports cars, often customized by equally costly accessories. In the real world, to obtain the funds to buy these pricey vehicles or modifications like high performance engines and racing tires, street racers often resort to insurance crime, said the NICB.

Robert M. Bryant, president and CEO of NICB, a nonprofit organization funded by insurance companies to fight fraud and vehicle theft noted that the popularity of high-valued import cars and customized accessories at the heart of street racing has helped fuel a surge of vehicle thefts and insurance fraud.

Bryant said NICB investigators regularly attend street race “shows” and regularly find stolen cars and evidence of insurance crimes.

False auto theft reports, staged accidents and phony property thefts and vandalism claims are among the scams used by street racers to defraud insurance companies, NICB reported.

Performance shops also can be involved in these scams, said Bryant. These shops install many of the stolen engines and transmission recovered from these import racers, he said. Bryant said some even advise racers to tell insurers company that the desired piece of equipment has been stolen and provide bogus receipts to substantiate the false claim. Even when there are legitimate thefts, these corrupt shops may furnish false receipts to pad the cost of the claim, he observed.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to combating insurance fraud and vehicle theft. Approximately 1,000 property/casualty insurance companies and several self-insured organizations support the NICB.

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