Texas Dept. of Insurance warns of group using insurance cover to collect personal information

Texas Dept. of Insurance warns of group using insurance cover to collect personal information
Updated: Oct. 10, 2019 at 8:38 PM CDT
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(KTRE) - A state insurance organization is spreading the word about what it calls an insurance phone scam that’s targeting some areas of East Texas.

The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) is urging consumers to be wary of calls from a group claiming to be the Consumer Insurance Association. The calls offer to lower your auto insurance costs and ask about your current coverage, but TDI officials believe it’s a tactic used to collect personal information.

“For this scam, and any cold call, you have to be a little cautious," said Ben Gonzalez, a spokesperson for TDI. “Because if someone is calling you and you didn’t initiate it, at best, they’re trying to sell you something you weren’t in the market for.”

The caller may mention the names of well-known insurance companies, and the phone number may originate from any state. However, Consumer Insurance Association is not a licensed insurance company or agency in Texas.

“This could be an attempt to get you to reveal personal information for identity theft,” said Chris Davis, the head of TDI’s Fraud Unit. “It’s always good to be cautious of anyone who calls when you haven’t asked for information. And never give out personal information when you haven’t verified who’s calling.”

Personal information like phone numbers, addresses, and Social Security numbers can be sold to others and used for identity theft.

Coleman Swierc, the communications manager for the Better Business Bureau in Central East Texas, said they have heard of similar scams.

“We get calls all of the time of people calling to verify that some of these calls are legitimate, and some of them are sometimes a legitimate business calling for a legitimate reason," Swierc said.

If you get a call offering to lower your insurance costs, ask for the agent’s Texas insurance license number. Don’t provide personal information such as your address, birth date, Social Security number, or bank account numbers.

You can verify licensed agents on the TDI website or call the TDI Help Line at 1-800-252-3439 to check the status of a company.

For more information, contact: MediaRelations@tdi.texas.gov

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