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WA Insurance Commissioner Warns Against Coronavirus Scams

Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner

The Washington Insurance Commissioner’s office warns it’s watching for scams related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Phil Comstock from the agency's criminal investigations unit says his office prosecuted 39 fraud case across the state last year.

He says currently it has no cases related specifically to the coronavirus, but has heard of related cases happening in other parts of the country.

“We’re hearing a lot of email and robo-calls, either selling corona insurance, that will cover costs related to that, trying to sell them a policy for that. Of course it's all fictitious. It’s all fake.”

Comstock says the current uncertain economic climate means people will be coming up with all sorts of scams to be able to make ends meet. He cites one possible type of fraud they will be looking out for related to the current lock-down situation:

“The traffic volume is way down so there are opportunities for some collision type claims because of fewer witnesses and law enforcement may not be responding to minor accidents and whatnot, at the current time because they are handling other things.”

Comstock says the Washington Attorney General's office has created a portal on its website to take information from the public on suspected scams. He says any related to insurance fraud would be forwarded to his office.