Email Hacking Fraud
Our fight against insurance fraud
Insurance fraud takes many forms, from inflating a claim to faking a disability. It occurs when individuals intentionally deceive an insurance company to collect money that isn't rightfully theirs.
Each year insurance fraud costs all types of insurance companies and their customers billions of dollars. In fact, the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that insurance fraud costs Americans at least $80 billion a year. Northwestern Mutual is proactive in its effort to fight insurance fraud, and we are continually improving our procedures for prevention, detection and investigation of insurance fraud.
Passing on costs, passing on savings
Each incident of fraud forces insurance companies to absorb unnecessary expenses. Those excess expenses can cause companies to raise premium rates. Or, in the case of mutual insurance companies, those expenses may result in lower dividend amounts for policyowners. Conversely, when fraud decreases, the money an insurance company saves can be passed on to its policyowners.
What is insurance fraud?
According to The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud "Insurance fraud occurs when people deceive an insurance company or agent to obtain policies or collect money to which they are not entitled. Similarly, insurers and agents also can defraud customers, or even each other."
Some examples of insurance fraud include:
- Intentionally failing to disclose significant medical conditions or other material facts on an insurance application.
- Collecting disability benefits after returning to work.
- A representative who bills a client personally without delivering a policy.
- Unscrupulous health care providers who bill twice for the same service or for services not provided.
- Attempting to collect life insurance benefits while the insured is alive.
- A physician who assists a claimant by certifying an unfounded disability claim.
- Taking an unauthorized loan on a life insurance policy by an individual.
What is being done?
Northwestern Mutual has a Special Investigations Unit (SIU) whose responsibility is to investigate suspected fraud and to help local law enforcement officials prosecute offenders. The SIU works to detect, prevent and resolve fraudulent activities perpetrated against Northwestern Mutual.
Additionally, many states actively prosecute insurance fraud through established fraud bureaus. We urge you to visit your state's department of insurance Website for information about insurance fraud specific to your state. Also, the following organizations maintain Websites that provide information about the problem of insurance fraud:
- Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
- Coalition Against Insurance Fraud
- National Fraud Information Center
- National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association
- Health Insurance Association of America
What to do if you suspect fraud
If you suspect insurance fraud has been committed against Northwestern Mutual or Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company, call our toll-free Fraud Detection Line at 1-877-607-2485 or email the SIU at email@example.com. Or, contact your state's insurance fraud bureau.
When contacting the SIU, please provide the following information, if possible:
- Name and address of the person or business.
- The person's age
- Name of the person's employer or business.
- Details of the suspected fraud.
- The person's relationship to Northwestern Mutual (employee, policyowner, insured, service provider, financial representative).
- The type of policy in question (life, disability, group disability, long- term care, annuity).
Email Hacking Fraud
Email hacking occurs when a fraudster illegally gains access into an individual’s email account. This allows the fraudster to read email messages and view the address book on the email account. As you can imagine, this can lead to all sorts of fraud, including tricking the people in your contact list to obtain funds from your financial institutions. If you believe a fraudster has accessed your email account, we recommend that you take the following actions to protect yourself.
Shut down the email account
- Shut down your email account by logging into the email account settings to delete or deactivate the account.
- Simply changing the password will not effectively keep the fraudster out.
- Change your password on other accounts if you use the same or similar password as your hacked email account. You should never use a single password across multiple accounts.
- If you use the hacked email account as a login for other sites, change your passwords and logins for those immediately.
- Anything in your hacked email account (contacts, Inbox, Sent items, documents, etc.) has likely been copied by the hackers, making it possible for them to impersonate you.
- Turn on multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all your accounts that offer MFA.
Contact all institutions where your information may be at risk
- Consider other information that has been shared using the hacked email account both currently and in the past (e.g., sending tax information to an accountant, etc.).
- Alert others (financial institutions, business partners, friends) of the situation:
- Ask them to stop communicating via the hacked email account and remove it from their records.
- Provide them with your new email address.
- Ask your financial institutions to “flag” your account for fraudulent activity.
- Watch all financial accounts closely.
Monitor your credit
Get a copy of your credit report and review the accounts and other information provided. You can get a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228. You are entitled to one free report from each of the credit reporting agencies every year.
For tips and other helpful information, contact the Federal Trade Commission: 1-877-IDTHEFT or review information on the FTC’s Identity Theft website.
Protect your Northwestern Mutual policies and accounts
Be prepared to provide your account/policy number when requesting the following:
- Life, Disability Income and Annuity – You can request a password to be used to verify your identity when you call the home office.
- For Life and Disability Income Policies, call 1-800-388-8123.
- For Annuities, call 1-888-455-2232.
- Long Term Care – You can request additional authenticators be added to verify your identity when calling about your policy by calling 1-800-748-9493.
- Investment Accounts – You can request a restriction be added to your account.
- For Northwestern Mutual Investment Services and Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, including Trust and Private Client Services, call 1-866-950-4644.
Make the Call
If you are an employee, contractor, field force member, or vendor/supplier for Northwestern Mutual or its subsidiaries and you suspect or observe a concern related to possible:
- Fraud, theft or dishonesty
- Accounting irregularity
- Violation of business conduct or law
Contact the Ethics Resource Center (ERC) to confidentially report your concern. Help maintain an ethical culture and protect Northwestern Mutual’s reputation for integrity and trust.
Access the ERC by phone (866-663-8427) 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Central Time. Outside of business hours, you may leave a confidential message.