Authorities Report False Insurance Claims Happen Periodically
BROWNSVILLE – Brownsville police said people making false reports happens periodically and usually requires a certain volume of resources. It can also affect insurance company customers.
Miguel Angel Uribe, 29, told police last month that his vehicle was stolen at gunpoint. He filed a police report and filed an insurance claim on it, hoping to gain money for his loss.
However, police recently said Uribe’s story was completely false. Surveillance video at a Brownsville International Bridge showed one of Uribe’s acquaintances driving the truck into Mexico.
Uribe was arrested and charged with filing a false report and insurance fraud.
Pronoto Insurance Claims Director, Oscar Buitrago, said these occurrences are something that happens often. He said drivers who fall into financial trouble can get desperate.
“Sometimes family members, other friends approach them and tell them, hey we can make this go away, give us the key, we’ll take it to Mexico, file an insurance claim, you’ll get paid and your financial troubles will be gone,” he said.
Police said some may see the close proximity of the Mexican border as an easy alternative.
Both police and insurance investigators vet each of these types of cases thoroughly.
“They do their own investigation, regardless. Also, they work in conjunction with our investigators. So, sometimes, they wait until we finish our investigation for them to actually see if their guys are going to pay or not,” Brownsville Police Investigator J.J. Trevino said.
Not only do these cases take up time, the cost for paying out on fraudulent cases can trickle down to law-abiding, insured drivers.
“From a risk pool, insurance companies analyze the risk, you know, how many losses occurred in one area, and if there’s lots of losses occurring in a specific area, then insurance companies have to raise prices to make up for that,” Buitrago said.
Brownsville police said faking a story about a stolen vehicle can often prove more costly than paying the car.
In the recent fraud case, Uribe is facing two charges, which will go on his record. He’s also left without a truck.
If the vehicle is found, Trevino said it belongs to the insurance company because of the fraudulent claim.
Police said plotting a scheme of this nature isn’t worth it. They said even if a person has to turn the vehicle back in and take a hit on their credit, they will avoid facing charges.