[via Claims Journal]
Insurance fraud is so big it could be getting its own reality television show.
Fraud Dog cast on location: Mike Marks, Linda Webb, and Leigh Ann Mills
The show, called the “Fraud Dog,” is in pilot production, and will star Linda Webb, a former AIG insurance claim executive and white collar crime detective turned consultant.
Similar in format to the “America’s Most Wanted” TV series, Webb’s 30-minute reality show will highlight actual fraud cases through re-enactments.
Her production company has already completed some filming in Chicago and New York and is in talks to determine when and where the show will air.
“We sent it out to multiple networks and we’re waiting now to finalize the contracts on which network it’s going to be on,” Webb told ClaimsJournal.com.
Webb hopes the television show catches on because she believes the nation is not taking fraud seriously enough—and needs to understand how fraud affects every business and citizen, not just insurance companies.
“I really firmly believe that America needs to wake up, and not only do we need to wake up about fraud but we need everybody’s help…we all need to unite, we need to join forces and we need everybody’s help,” Webb said.
She believes the only way to stop fraud is by engaging the public. “Education breeds prevention, it breeds awareness,” said Webb.
The goal by the end of each show is for the viewer to gain a better understanding of how a fraudulent claim might take place. “Each show will be dedicated to a different type of fraud scam and when you get done with the television show you’re going to know how the fraud occurs, how to be aware of it, and how to…not be a victim of it,” according to Webb.
For example, she just filmed a chiropractic fraud episode in Chicago. “A doctor that’s a certified fraud examiner walked us through all the different fraudulent practices that are done in the chiropractic field,” Webb said.
Webb has a background in fighting crime and fraud. A stint early in her career as a white collar crime detective led in 1994 to a fraud investigator position with American International Group. Webb stayed with AIG, moving up the ranks, finishing as an assistant vice president of the global fraud investigation division. She left AIG in leaving in 2007 to work for Medicare as a private contractor.
Now, Webb investigates claims for workers’ compensation insurer Patriot National Insurance Group and conducts multi-line property/casualty investigations as the president of Contego Services Group.
Webb thinks the image of a dog fighting fits her.
“I’m always a dog with a bone. I’m never going to stop until I solve the crime,” Webb said.
The crime she wants to solve is huge. Insurance fraud is an $80 billion dollar a year industry, according to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (CAIF).
While fraud’s costly impact on the insurance industry can’t be ignored, it’s not the only industry affected.
“I think that it’s really important that we reach out and get everybody’s help because fraud continues to morph every single day and it’s going to hit every single business, not just the insurance world but every business,” Webb said.
In addition, fraud’s international reach can’t be ignored. According to Webb, organized crime rings operating outside the U.S. funnel people into the country to stage accidents. To document the international ties, Webb is already planning to take the “Fraud Dog’s” filming overseas in seasons two and three.