Hi there, my name is Ed, and I’m going to tell you about the time I almost scammed an insurance company for a brand-new Porsche. Well… until this new gadget called “Image Analysis” got in the way, at least.
In the summer of 2019, my friend, Dan, had just purchased a slightly used 2015 Porsche 911 in black. Now that car was a beauty. Driving it felt like spreading soft butter on a piece of perfectly golden-brown toast. I know, I know, I sound crazy but if you’ve ever driven one, you know the feeling. Together, we named the car “Panther”, and I was taking pictures in that driver’s seat any chance I got.
One day, Dan let me take Panther through some back roads for a drive, and out of nowhere a deer jumped into my lane! Thankfully, I was able to avoid a collision, but it gave me an idea.
When I got back to his house, I explained my plan to Dan. I told him that we should fake an accident to collect insurance money, so he can buy another. At first, he was confused and asked me, “Why do I need two?” I explained that this would give me an opportunity to drive a Porsche without risking Panther’s safety in the future. I knew how much he cared about that car, too. He was still hesitant, but luckily, with a little more coaxing, he was sold!
After that conversation, I planned a foolproof scam. I dug deep into the crevasses of Google, looking for a picture that would trick any claims adjuster. I came across the perfect set of images and created an even better story to go along with them: Dan let me go for a drive, a deer jumped into the road, and trying to avoid a collision I accidentally swerved off and hit a tree head-on. Based on a true story, I was confident that we would have no problem. And the best part, my Uncle Freddy pulled off a similar scam back in his prime, so I knew it was possible.
A couple weeks later, after hours of rehearsing our story, Dan contacted the insurance company. He told them our situation, and as expected, they wanted to see photos. He sent them the ones I had found and we thought we had pulled off the perfect crime. It seemed like a couple of phone interviews and some images was all it took. No wonder insurance fraud is such a widespread problem!
After not hearing from the company for a little over a week, Dan called to check up on our claim. The adjuster said that it was nothing to worry about, but it might take up to a week before we heard back from him. Apparently, their company just integrated a new fraud solution called FRISS, which was keeping an eye on our case, too. Never did we expect to encounter Image Analysis, though.
Behind the scenes, Dan’s insurance company’s Special Investigations Unit had started to utilize a tool called Image Analysis from FRISS, part of their Investigations Solution. And this technology was smart! Even though I took screenshots of all the images so that they looked like they came from my cell phone, the Image Analysis saw right through that.
It could tell what type of phone the photo was taken on, GPS coordinates of the original picture, and if it had been posted on the internet before, along with the corresponding URLs. On top of that, unbeknownst to us, those same images had already been in the photo library of Dan’s insurance company. I guess a couple years earlier someone legitimately crashed their black 2015 Porsche 911 and filed a claim through the same carrier. The Image Analysis picked right up on that, too.
Flash forward to 2021. I think it goes without saying… I never got my Porsche. Dan’s Insurance Company cancelled his policy too, and he couldn’t get new coverage anywhere! With tears in our eyes, Dan had to sell our beloved Panther. Now, he won’t talk to me either. I guess after you get charged as an accomplice in someone else’s crime, you don’t necessarily want to hang out with them anymore. Can’t blame him.
That FRISS technology is really something. And that darn Image Analysis, too! I guess at least if I can’t have a fraud Porsche, no one can. What’s their saying again? Oh right. Honest insurance really is a beautiful thing. If you want to find out more about their image analysis, you can click right here. Trust me, it’s worth your time.
Edward L. James
Ohio State Penitentiary