North Carolina woman fakes cancer and gets $230,000; now it's costing you

Insurance fraud is becoming a massive issue in North Carolina and it's costing you a lot of money, according to state officials.

The Department of Insurance says up to 20 percent of what you pay for insurance is going to fraudulent claims.

The department is working to crack down on those scammers by doubling the number of special agents investigating cases statewide.

"This industry is so creative because they are so creative and imaginative," said Frank Rodriguez, Deputy Commissioner of the Criminal Investigation Division.

Rodriguez oversees 40 agents stationed throughout North Carolina. On average, he says each agent handles about 100 cases a month.

The department made 500 arrests last year, but officials admit many more people are flying under the radar.

Last year, the Criminal Investigation Unit arrested Susan Huebotter in Lenoir County.
She pleaded guilty to filing nearly 300 fake cancer insurance claims over a span of eight years.

She received more than $230,000 from the state illegally.

"She absolutely tugged on our heartstrings because it was cancer and then nobody questioned it," said Rodriguez.

The department says her case was brought to their attention because someone tipped them off and they are encouraging others to do the same.
"If you know of a neighbor or someone who is claiming disability, or you know that they are claiming that they have a workers comp claim and it wasn't a workers comp claim, or they are sharing that they have a car that has been totaled because of some incident that never occurred, that's when a consumer needs to report it to our fraud line," said Michelle Osborne with the Department of Insurance.

The Department of Insurance says it will release an app to make reporting fraud easier.

It is expected to be available within the next couple of months.
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