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News

Michigan Auto Insurance Fraud is a Daily Part of Life

January 13th, 2016

Michigan auto insurance fraud is a daily part of life. Many of us give little if any though to auto insurance fraud as we go about our day. If the thought comes up, it is usually when we review our auto insurance premium. Unfortunately, there is a subculture in our state of bad operators who view accidents as economic opportunities. The reaction is not “thank goodness I was not injured”, rather it is one of relief that “free mailbox money” is on the way. As one of Michigan’s premier auto insurance fraud investigation agencies, we document it every day. From the claimant who insists she cannot work and needs household replacement services who goes out dancing for three hours to the claimant who alleges to be equally as limited who posts on Facebook that they will getting “big money” from their accident.

Michigan auto insurance fraud

One of the most interesting elements of Michigan auto insurance fraud is that everyday people who normally would not think about committing fraud dive in when they are involved in an accident and coached on the possibilities of quick money without any negative consequences. A great example of the Michigan auto insurance fraud was covered in the Bridge magazine. This story gives a great example of how this “victim-less” crime is so prevalent.

Preparing for Surveillance

November 3rd, 2015

Preparing for surveillance isn’t just about making sure you have a full tank of gas and a fully charged camera.  For a field investigator, the preparation starts before the next assignment is even received.  In talking with industry veterans at Sherlock Investigations about their preparation for various field assignments, one thing is clear; they like to have lots of gear with them at all times.  Multiple changes of clothing for any event are a must, from formal attire, golf gear, bowling shoes, gym shorts, club wear along with different color shirts and hats – all to maintain the ability to not only blend in, but also continuously change their appearance during an outing.  The idea is to be prepared for wherever a claimant may go so that optimal footage can be obtained.  Surveillance vehicles are the live-in offices of these skilled investigators and they each know that the more prepared they are, the better chance they have at obtaining that case closing video.

16 Sherlock Investigations Team Members to participate in Bottomless Toy Chest Bowling Fundraiser!

October 27th, 2015

We are proud to announce that 16 Sherlock Investigations Team Members to participate in Bottomless Toy Chest Bowling Fundraiser this year. The event helps raise money for toys and activities for children who are hospitalized and receiving treatment for critical illnesses like cancer. The bowling event is open to the public and helps raise money in a friendly, family oriented environment.

We encourage anyone who is interested in helping with this great cause to consider joining us or to take a moment and make a contribution.

When: Friday, November 6th, 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM

​​Where: 5 Star Lanes, 2666 Metro Parkway, Sterling Heights. Located just east of Dequindre.

Everyone at Sherlock Investigations is grateful to have an opportunity to help those in out community who are in need. We support a number of charities both locally and abroad and encourage you to join us.

Fall Changes Approach to Michigan PIP Surveillance

October 12th, 2015

Each season seems to have its own unique attributes that call for changes in how a professional insurance defense private investigator has to approach Michigan PIP surveillance. Fall brings the end to vacations for most, the return to school (which greatly impacts those claimants with children), far less sun in the sky and new outdoor activities to replace those from summer. Attending fall sporting events is popular, leaves and gutters need to be cleaned up, many make weekend pilgrimages to the apple orchard, pumpkin patch or cider mill, patio furniture gets put away and family gatherings scale back until Thanksgiving.

These changes in the behaviors of all of us are not lost on casualty claimants who are under Michigan PIP surveillance. They too need to clean up the yard, go to fall events, take kids to school, games and the like, all in observable from public domain, and much of this must now be done in less time given the early sun set. This means that surveillance investigations too must undergo modifications. Exceptional quality insurance defense private investigators can identify and counter many of these changes through expert pre-surveillance case workups that identify the specifics of the claimant’s household, obligations and available support systems, They will know when the kids walk to school on their own, if teenagers have their own car, when and where sports we will held and more.

Halloween is also an opportunity the conduct intelligent Michigan PIP surveillance that can lead to exception footage of a claimant’s true abilities.

For more information on how Sherlock Investigations can help you to obtain consistently better Michigan PIP surveillance results, contact us today.

When a government agency decides to get in the way of your investigation

September 2nd, 2015

When a government agency decides to get in the way of your investigation. Much attention has been focused on the Rowan County, KY clerk who is refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. This brings to mind an unfortunately regular occurrence that we, as licensed private investigators working on complex claims investigations and background checks, encounter with government agencies refusing to provide information or records that they are legally obligated to.

In some instances, the agency we are trying to work with is gigantic and the bureaucracy gets in the way. For instance, being located in metro-Detroit, we have had constant battles with the City of Detroit to try and get Freedom of Information Act requests answered. In instances like this, there is no one person getting in the way, and the carousel of “leaders” that we contact  appear not to care or lack the ability to respond. (Note: working with the City of Detroit is getting easier and they are much more efficient these days, the City of Chicago, not so much) This spring, our office received a response to a FOIA from Detroit 21 months after it was submitted! We also encounter the opposite where a smaller municipality elects not to cooperate for political reasons. In a case in 2014, we attempted to get records from a smaller city in Montana regarding a fire department call to a claimant’s residence. The city attorney turned out to be close friends with the plaintiff’s attorney and stoned walled us. In a separate instance, a City Attorney of another town said that if we did not disclose the nature of our investigation and who we were working for, which we cannot by law, he would never release this information and he would certainly find out through discovery if we sued for it.

For those of your who are familiar with FOIA law, you might ask, why not sue them? Well in most cases, our clients simply do not want us to take it that far. In others, the time, energy and cost to do so far outweighs the benefit the records may impart to the case. The really bad news is that these agencies and bureaucrats know this and the reality is that most of the time it works and the requester goes away. The salt in our wound is that sometimes our client does not appreciate this possibility and see the failure as bad investigators who don’t know what they are doing.

Paul Dank Earns CFE Credential

June 18th, 2015

(June 17, 2015) — The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), the world’s largest anti-fraud organization and leading provider of anti-fraud training and education, is pleased to award Paul Dank, of Detroit, Michigan, the globally preferred Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential. In order to become a CFE, Dank has met a stringent set of criteria and passed a rigorous exam
administered by the ACFE.

Paul has successfully met the ACFE’s character, experience and education requirements for the CFE credential, and has demonstrated knowledge in four areas critical to the fight against fraud: Fraudulent Financial Transactions, Fraud Prevention and Deterrence, Legal Elements of Fraud and Fraud Investigation.

Paul joins the ranks of business and government professionals worldwide who have also earned the CFE certification.

Michigan Summer Road Repairs Can Complicate Casualty Surveillance

May 5th, 2015

  With the kickoff of what appears likely to be a massive statewide road repair and reconstruction effort in Michigan this summer, the business of conducting casualty surveillance becomes a little harder.

As those familiar with the casualty claims business know, surveillance in Michigan almost always involves following a claimant as they travel by car. The vast majority of people in Michigan use a private automobile as their primary means of transportation. With the voters going to polls today to decide the fate of a massive new tax to fund road repair, and the last two winters being exceptionally rough on the roads, the expected number of construction sites will be big.

For the professional insurance investigator working on a PIP or Workers Compensation claims, this adds a level of planning and flexibility to deliver consistently good pursuit in this environment. Planning the surveillance and knowing the expected construction schedules is critical. It is also important the identify how the claimant may adjust their normal routes to get around construction areas and traffic congestion.

For more information on how Sherlock Investigations plans and executes industry best casualty surveillance, please contact one of our team. We are happy to chat.

 

 

Daniel Klimek of Sherlock Investigations to Speak at MI-IASIU Spring Training Event

April 13th, 2015

Michigan SIU Claims Training Event

Investigations Manager Dan Klimek of Sherlock Investigations, is scheduled to present “SIU Resources, Using Social Media and the Internet in Claims Investigations” – a presentation on the use of this information in insurance defense cases.

This presentation is to take place at the Michigan Chapter of the International Association of Special Investigation Units Annual Spring Seminar on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.  Attendees will include insurance adjusters, SIU personal and attorneys, all of whom service the insurance defense industry.

Attendees will be provided with insight into how to conduct their own social media investigations and the importance of preserving the evidence they have collected so that it can be used during the claims defense process.

For handouts of this presentation, please contact Dan at dk1@claimspi.com

To register for this event, please visit miiasiu.org

Ryan Cylkowski Joins Sherlock Investigations as Senior Account Manager in South Eastern Michigan

April 1st, 2015

DETROIT, Michigan – March 30, 2015

Sherlock Investigations announced that Ryan Cylkowski has joined the agency and begun servicing clients in the metro-Detroit region.

Cylkowski will work with clients in the auto, liability and workers compensation claim space along with defense counsel for same. “I am thrilled Ryan has elected to join us. He gets what client service is all about and shares our approach of making them happy for the long haul as opposed to simply trying to sell them services today.” Said Paul Dank, President.

“I am truly excited to join Sherlock and to help them to build upon the many great things they have done in insurance claims investigations.” said Cylkowski. “I love working with clients to help them to improve their results and reach their goals. Sherlock actually makes the job easy with our superior investigative system and consistently better results, so this is going to be a job I can really have fun with while making my clients happy.”

Cylkowski has worked in client services within the financial services market and prior to that in healthcare. He has a solid background in client service related problem solving and customization of services to meet a large variety of differing client needs.

Sherlock Investigations provides a unique system for investigating casualty claims and is able to produce consistently better results than competing agencies, making Sherlock the head and shoulder leader within the market.

Ryan can be reached at rcylkowski@claimspi.com or 586-783-3900.

 

Press Contact:

R. Mills

rmills@claimspi.com

586-783-3900

3 Important Things to Know About Locating Hospital and Pharmacy Records

February 24th, 2015

In the case of many casualty insurance claims, locating hospital and pharmacy records is a vital part of the claims investigation process. The good news is, when done correctly (meaning legally and ethically) this is an excellent tool to either verify that all the medical records have already been provided or to locate additional records that have not been provided during the normal claims process. What is important is to understand three things about locating hospital and pharmacy records that will help you to expedite the process and to set reasonable expectations. Here is the list:

  1. Many times, a signed records release must be provided to the hospital or pharmacy or they simply will not cooperate. In some instances, a hospital may even require that the release be their release and no other. We recommend that you try and obtain a signed release as soon as possible and be prepared for additional foot dragging from some hospitals. It is just how they roll.
  2. If a release is mandated, it can often take time to get a hospital or pharmacy to respond and sometimes they simply don’t reply at all, requiring the request to be submitted multiple times. A bit of patience needed more often that it should be.
  3. Sometimes the canvass must be performed in multiple geographic areas. If a claimant has lived in more than one geographic area in the past few years, it is highly likely that records exist at facilities in their old neighborhood. In some cases, claimants have moved three and four times in a short amount of time, leaving you with the decision to have the search conducted in more than one location, which increases the cost.

Now for the bad news: if you are working with an investigator or search firm that is providing you with actual medical information (i.e. diagnosis, prescription information, etc.) from a provider or a pharmacy and they do not have a signed release from the claimant, they are NOT acting within HIPPA compliance and they are certainly exposing you to serious liability in the process.

For more information about our hospital and pharmacy records canvassing, please contact one of our team at 888-989-2800.