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August 2009

TIP411: NICB adds texting capabilities to report fraud

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is extending its outreach to the over 246 million cell phone users in the United States by offering the TIP411 text-based fraud reporting system to the American public.

TIP411 allows anyone with text messaging capabilities to text their anonymous tips related to insurance fraud or vehicle thefts directly to NICB. This will supplement the existing 1-800-TEL-NICB phone tip program and website tip system. NICB receives over 300 tips a month through the current systems*.

To send a text tip, cell phone users text the keyword "FRAUD" to TIP411 (847411) to submit their tips.

Why TIP411?

  • Over 246 million people in the U.S. have cell phones (2008) and it's growing quickly.

  • It's 100 percent anonymous (tipsters may provide their information if they choose, but it is not required).

  • Messages can be responded to in real time creating an instant two-way live "chat" with NICB personnel.

  • The system allows citizens to report on a crime without having to say a word, providing an unprecedented anywhere, anytime, silent, and anonymous approach to crime reporting.

"The American people now have a new and immediate way to report fraud," said Joe Wehrle NICB's president and chief executive officer. "We are pleased to bring this service to the nation and urge people to help us in our efforts to keep their insurance costs down by using this technology to report fraudulent activity and vehicle theft."

TIP411 is a web-based text messaging system created by CitizenObserver of St. Paul, Minn., in February. It is now being used by law enforcement, schools and other organizations in 30 states.

About the National Insurance Crime Bureau:
Headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., the NICB is the nation's leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through information analysis, investigations, training, legislative advocacy and public awareness. The NICB is supported by more than 1,000 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote nearly $343 billion in insurance.

To learn more about the National Insurance Crime Bureau, visit www.nicb.org.

*21st Century Insurance encourages drivers not to write and send text messages while driving.
Article reproduced with permission from the NICB.

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