The San Diego County district attorney's office has launched a public awareness campaign to fight the proliferation of workers' compensation fraud.
A total of 65 billboards and transit shelter posters placed across San Diego County encourage employees to report suspected instances of workers' compensation fraud.
According to the district attorney's office, workers’ compensation fraud costs California consumers an estimated $4 billion dollars every year.
“Workers’ compensation fraud increases when the economy struggles," San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said. "Ultimately, the crime hits all of us in our wallets. This anti-fraud message will be seen by an estimated 1 million people every day in San Diego County.”
Workers' compensation fraud is committed by employees faking an injury; by employers denying employee benefits, failing to report accurate payroll or having no insurance at all; and by health care and legal providers billing for services not rendered.
In the last four years, the district attorney’s office has obtained workers' compensation fraud convictions against 399 defendants and restitution orders of more than $6 million dollars. Currently, 289 cases are under investigation.
"Fighting insurance fraud is one of my top priorities as insurance commissioner," said California Commissioner Dave Jones. "I am pleased to partner with the San Diego County district attorney in this public awareness campaign reminding the public that committing insurance fraud is illegal."
The new public awareness campaign is funded through a grant from the California Workers’ Compensation Fraud Assessment Commission and the California Department of Insurance.
Lamar Advertising and CBS Outdoor contributed to the anti-fraud effort by significantly reducing their rates for the billboards, which can be seen throughout the month of November.