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For many years, the public in general did not regard insurance fraud as a serious crime. Public opinion polls revealed that many believed insurers were only slightly harmed financially and often saw it as a way of recouping the many dollars in premiums they had paid. In a word, insurance fraud was considered a victimless crime.

However, during the late 1980s and early 1990s, insurers began to stress that insurance fraud was a real problem and, more importantly, that it was growing at an alarming rate. With help from the industry and government agencies, insurance companies created specialized units devoted to the detection and prevention of insurance fraud.

In the past 20 years, industry collaboration and recognized goals have led to advances in insurance fraud awareness. With the help of industry-wide associations and public officials, the misnomer of insurance fraud being a victimless crime has dissipated. Public awareness campaigns have successfully shown that not only does insurance fraud result in increased premiums for insureds, but that it also creates a strain on company resources. Staged car accidents and arson have caused the injuries or deaths of innocent civilians and public servants. As a result, the public has grown much less tolerant of fraud.

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