Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey put Angelenos on alert Tuesday against insurance fraud, which she said is on the rise in California.
Insurance fraud crooks are increasingly staging auto accidents to file bogus insurance claims, filing phony workers compensation claims and other schemes, Lacey said at a news conference outside the Kenneth Hahn Administration Building in downtown Los Angeles.
"If you are engaged in this type of activity, you can end up in state prison," Lacey said.
California ranked first in the number of questionable insurance claims in 2012, which was more than double the next highest state, she said.
Insurance fraud is not just costly for insurance companies, it keeps insurance costs high and requires resources from law enforcement and the courts, according to Lacey.
"The bottom line is these perpetrators of insurance fraud essentially harm all of us," Lacey said.
In response to the rise in fraud, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have declared June as Insurance Fraud Awareness Month.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe said those who buy insurance are just trying to do the right thing.
"People should feel confident when they are taking steps to protect themselves and their families," Knabe said.
— City News Service