Rocky Mountain Insurance Asssociation Cautions Against Scams Following Tornado

June 12, 2008

Colorado consumers need to be aware of an insurance scam that appears to be operating in the aftermath of the Windsor tornado, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. In one case reported to the association, the would-be victim didn’t fall for it, but the woman (who did not want to be identified) hopes other people don’t become prey to it.

According to RMIIA, the scam was initiated with a phone call from someone claiming to represent the woman’s insurance company
out of an office in St. Louis. The Windsor resident had filed a homeowners’ insurance claim for damage, but the man told her she would need to wire money immediately if she wanted her claim to be processed. He said her insurance had lapsed. But the woman knew she had paid her annual premium and the caller didn’t even know the name of her mortgage company. She told him she would call her agent to find out what was going on, but he insisted she needed to deal directly with him. In fact, she checked with the company and the call was indeed a scam.

“Unfortunately high-profile disasters such as the Windsor Tornado often draw scam artists out of the woodwork attempting to take advantage of victims made more vulnerable by a difficult and confusing situation,” said Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. “Consumers should be aware that insurance companes would never ask them to wire money to pay for lapsed coverage to settle a claim. They should always check with their agent or company representative to verify suspicious contact requesting money or personal information.” Disaster fraud takes many forms, from disreputable contractors to other vendors looking to make a quick buck.

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