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Scientists and insurers alike dubbed 2011 as the “year of the cat,” referencing the record-setting succession of natural disasters and the widespread losses inflicted as a result. Well, a new report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) suggests another appropriate nickname: the “year of the cheat.”

That’s because the Des Plaines, Ill.-based non-profit organization logged a record number of questionable claims in 2011—100,450 to be exact. This six-digit figure not only represents a 9.4-percent increase from the 91,797 reported the year prior (in 2010) but also the highest number ever in NICB’s 100-year history. It also indicates a 19-percent increase in suspicious claims activity during a 2-year time period, from 2009 (in which NICB members referred 84,407 files) to 2011.

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