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Crime and Fraud
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sms 31640

Santam, the country’s largest short-term insurer, has introduced an SMS service to allow people to report any suspected insurance fraud.  The service, which has a in-built guarantee of confidentiality, provides an additional means for members of the public to assist the company in its continuing fight against fraud.
Jerry Chetty, Head of Forensic Services at Santam, says the new service was introduced to take advantage of the fact that cell-phones are the fastest growing means of communication, and because of the immediate accessibility they facilitate.
“We believe that this will be an efficient and reliable form of communication which will allow Santam to act quickly on fraud tips. We expect the text-message based fraud tip line to become the standard across the insurance industry. We also anticipate that this facility will evolve from simply text messages to photographs and video clips of unethical behaviour as well,” he says.
Chetty adds that people witnessing a potential scam can text fraud alerts using Santam’s short code 31640. The text message is immediate and delivery is assured, increasing the company’s ability to respond quickly and appropriately.
He appeals to people making use of this service to provide as much detail as possible using questions, such as ‘who, why, how and when’ to guide their information.
Chetty notes that the service is operated independently by a service provider who will ‘cleanse’ all details if so required by the client.  Anonymity and confidentiality is therefore assured, unless the reporter wishes to be contacted.  The cost for SMS messages is the normal charge.
“At Santam it’s our policy to do everything in our power, not only to prevent any fraud from occurring in the first place, but to prosecute offenders to the full extent. We believe that the new SMS service will further enhance our capacity for detecting and preventing fraud and appeal to all members of the public to take advantage of it in any situation where they believe or suspect that insurance fraud is taking place,” he concludes.
Santam’s channels to report fraud to Forensic Services are:
Sms: 31640
E-mail: forensic.services@santam.co.za
South Africa Fraud Line: 0860 600 767
Namibia Fraud Line: 0800 00 20 20
Fax: 021 915 8197
Snail-mail: Forensic Services, PO Box 3881, Tygervalley 7536

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:21.11 1st December, 2008
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