Auto insurance fraud – San Diego county DA to help fight the menace


Auto insurance fraud - San Diego county DA to help fight the menaceThere has been a sharp rise in auto insurance fraud in the San Diego County due to the economic downturn. This has prompted the DA’s office to step in to educate the general public about the repercussions of being involved in such crimes, stated a Deputy District Attorney on Wednesday.

Dominic Dugo, who is the deputy district attorney as well as director of fraud grants in the San Diego County, has stated that the fraud generally went up when the unemployment levels rose. He added that it was not merely limited to auto insurance fraud but all types of fraud. The unemployment levels have gone up in California to 12.1%, and that seems to be the reason for fraud to go up.

Two grants were received by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office totaling up to $2.69 million. This has been given to battle auto insurance fraud. Dugo stated that they think that people commit insurance fraud, since they are strapped for cash. So, they think that an outreach program will be able to deter people from engaging in such activities.

These grants that were received from the state Department of Insurance seems to be the second-highest funding of any of the 35 county DA offices in California, while LA has received the highest funding for the fiscal year that began on July 1. District Attorney’s statewide received grants totaling up to $23 million.

A part of the funds would be utilized to advertise in the ethnic-oriented publications as well as the Armed Forces Dispatch as this is received by thousands of members who are engaged in military services and based locally, stated Dugo. However, the lion’s share would go towards payments for investigators, prosecutors, as well as support staff.

The other newspapers that would be advertising during this fall include the Filipino Press, Asian Journal, El Latino, Chaldean Paper, as well as the San Diego Chinese Weekly News. Even earlier on, the DA’s office had combated fraud via advertising in the movie halls before the screening of the films and by putting up billboards all along the freeways.

Ever since the economic crisis has been on the rise, the auto insurance fraud seems to have risen. For example, the so-called fraud referrals that were made by the auto insurers to the state’s Department of Insurance seems to have gone up to 9.5%. The referrals have gone up to 1,021 in 2010 from 932 referrals in 2009.