Taking Down Insurance Fraud in Oil Industry 2/12/13
CBS 7 News Reporter
February 12, 2013
ODESSA, TX – The dangers of working in the oil field could lead to bodily harm. But not every accident claim made by an employee is true.
When workers fake their injuries, it could bring financial damage to oil companies and a trip behind bars for the employee.
"I think because of the nature of the industry. It's easy for you guys to report an injury because it happens so often, " said Brett Felker, Producer at Milam Felker Insurance Services.
Felker says that a common scheme in the oil industry is workers pretending they're injured and then collecting benefits from the company.
Now insurance companies are teaming up with worker compensation businesses to make sure this doesn't happen.
"Workers’ comp companies are establishing fraud divisions. We have started working with them. They have records of individuals that you know are ... coming up with injuries,” said Felker.
He says that some oil companies even take it a step further by hiring private investigators.
"They may say they hurt their back, hurt their knee or bumped their head. So they want to blame it on the company and get paid,” said Founder of Night Owl Detective Agency BD Pool.
The private investigator, for Night Owl Detective Agency
, uses high definition cameras to track people and verifies if their statements are true.
The case of committing crime could place employees behind bars.
"The other thing these people don't realize is when they are committing fraud, it is an illegal activity. These guys could be criminally prosecuted for what they do," said Felker.
JD Pool with Night Owl Detective Agency says it also affects the cost of insurance for those under the oil companies’ insurance plan. The accident will make them raise the price for everyone.