Laura Fallis, Fraud Awareness & Training Coordinator, Anti-Fraud Management, Aviva Canada, on how the organization is helping law enforcement in the fight against fraud.
Only a small number of people commit insurance fraud in Canada but, unfortunately, we all pay the price. Insurance fraud is an ever-present risk that costs consumers more than $1 billion per year. Not only does insurance fraud impact our customers in the form of increased premiums, but it also ties up public resources such as police officers, firefighters and the court systems.
Aviva Canada’s industry-leading Anti-Fraud Management team is dedicated to fighting insurance fraud and protecting our honest customers. Located across Canada, our team is comprised of former underwriters, claims advisors and police officers and has a diverse set of backgrounds and expertise. Furthermore, our state-of-the-art fraud detection technology is also helping us prevent, investigate and deter fraud. We’re pleased with the results: since 2013, we’ve investigated over 3,000 fraud cases and had 77 criminal charges laid.
Our Anti-Fraud Management team upholds the commitment to fight insurance fraud and protect our customers and the public at large through collaboration with governments and regulatory bodies, participation in industry initiatives and criminal responsibility reporting.
Nowhere was this more evident than in March of this year, when the team’s hard work was realized during the successful undercover investigation known as ‘Project Duffy’. The investigation was featured on CTV’s W5 program and covered on CFTO News.
The undercover investigation began after an Aviva Canada customer stepped forward and alleged he was encouraged to advance a fraudulent injury claim by legal and healthcare professionals in Toronto.
In undercover video footage
obtained by Aviva Canada, Wellness Centres of Ontario Chiropractor, Dr. Edward Hayes; clinic employee, Doina ‘Michelle’ Osaceno; and Kovtman Law paralegal Anna Kovtanuka, explain to two undercover investigators how they can work together to obtain and share in insurance payouts, despite both investigators stating multiple times that they are not injured.
Aviva Canada provided the footage and other evidence to Toronto Police Service, who proceeded to lay fraud charges against Dr. Hayes, Ms. Osacenco and Ms. Kovtanuka. The criminal charges are currently before the courts and the next hearing is July 6, 2016. Following the criminal charges, Aviva Canada also made formal complaints to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, the College of Chiropractors of Ontario and the Law Society of Upper Canada. The complaints are currently under review.
Our state-of-the-art fraud detection technology and expertise is helping Aviva fight fraud. In order to expose fraudsters and share other success stories we need your help. If you suspect fraud, contact the Fraud Information Centre 24/7 at 1-855-332-5255 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Fallis is the Fraud Awareness & Training Coordinator for the Anti-Fraud Management of Aviva Canada.
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