This blog focuses on health care reform. But it’s also read by a lot of agents around the country, many of whom are in California. In light of a very unusual warning issued by California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner I thought it appropriate to borrow the blog for one post to spread the word.
According to the Commissioner, scam artists are calling licensed insurance agencies representing themselves as DOI personnel. Claiming the agents’ licenses are about to expire, they request credit card and other information in order to expedite payment of a penalty fee. They are not DOI personnel and no penalty is due. They are simply thieves who take the money and sell or misuse the credit card information. Producers receiving this call should immediately contact your local law enforcement agency.
According to Molly DeFrank, Deputy Press Secretary at the California Department of Insurance’s Communications Office, the scam first came to light on May 29th. At least three brokers are known to have fallen victim to the scam, but there may be others.
Brokers in other states should be careful as well. It is unlikely this scam is solely a California broker problem. And as the California DOI’s warning is disseminated, the thieves are likely to look for easier (meaning, less informed) victims.
And now back to our regularly scheduled blog.