Online Database Identifies Vehicles Damaged by Hurricanes

October 21, 2005

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has created an online database consisting of motor vehicles or boats affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita for the public to search in an effort to protect them from fraudulent sellers.

The online data is made available to law enforcement, state fraud bureaus, insurance companies and state departments of motor vehicles. The NICB is also making the data available to the general public to help protect potential buyers against fraud.

Effective immediately, anyone can log on to www.nicb.org and query a suspected VIN or HIN—free of charge—against NICB’s regularly-updated database to find out if there is a match.

After Hurricane Katrina passed through the Gulf Coast, special NICB catastrophe teams established two operations centers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Mobile, Alabama, to begin the process of identifying and cataloging vehicles and watercraft affected by these hurricanes. Working in partnership with the Louisiana State Police Insurance Fraud Unit and insurance company investigators, NICB created a database where vehicle identification numbers (VINs) and boat hull identification numbers (HINs) affected by either hurricane.

“It is my belief that the cooperative spirit displayed by the public and private groups in our united response to prevent future Katrina and Rita-related fraud may very well set the standard against which future post-catastrophe anti-fraud efforts are measured,” said Robert M. Bryant, president and CEO of NICB>

For more information on NICB and disaster fraud, visit www.nicb.org. To report fraud call 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422).

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