Houston woman accused of using stolen IDs to make $300K in fraudulent claims

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Friday, March 15, 2024
Woman accused of using stolen IDs in $300K insurance fraud case
Authorities said a woman allegedly used stolen IDs to file more than $300,000 in fraudulent insurance claims, but she didn't act alone.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston woman is accused of using stolen information like names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers to file more than $300,000 in fraudulent insurance claims.

Police say Ariana York had information belonging to 21 people. She's accused of filing the claims with three insurance companies.

Records show she was arrested in December, but prosecutors continue to add new charges. Police said multiple agencies are investigating, including the Texas Department of Insurance and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

York and a man identified as Edmond Herron are charged in a separate case involving two different insurance companies.

From 2019 to 2022, prosecutors say the two used fake IDs to take out new insurance policies and then made more than $133,000 worth of fraudulent claims.

In some cases, police said the vehicles York and Herron said had been involved in accidents had actually been sitting on car lots at the time.

Sometimes, insurance companies send checks directly to the now-defunct FBS Collision, which records show was owned by Herron.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau is offering these tips to safeguard your identity:

  • Shred or tear up personal financial documents before discarding them.
  • Do not print personal identifiers such as your social security number, date of birth, or driver's license number on your checks.
  • Use your social security number only when necessary.
  • Ensure a website is securely protected before revealing any info online (secure websites display a padlock symbol in the corner of the browser window).
  • Do not respond to emails requesting personal identifier info, even if they claim to be from your insurance company. If you have any questions about an email supposedly sent by your insurance carrier, always call your insurance representative or the carrier to verify!
  • Do not provide personal, financial, or identifying information to an unknown telephone caller, even if they claim to be your insurance carrier. Ask for the details of the caller, then check with your insurer to determine the validity of the call.
  • Pay attention to billing cycles, as identity thieves may reroute bills to another address to hide criminal activities.
  • Review your monthly credit card and other financial statements to check for unauthorized use.
  • Obtain a copy of your credit report annually to check for errors.
  • Minimize the number of credit cards and identifying information you carry, especially your Social Security card and passport.
  • Before revealing ANY information, online or in person, ask how it will be used.

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