DETROIT (FOX 2) - Michigan Rep. Tyrone Carter received a notice that he owed money to Liberty Mutual. The only problem? He's never used the insurance company.
"They said, ‘You didn’t pay on a policy.’ I said, ‘Well, I’ve never had a policy. They told me it’s a Dodge Challenger. I said, ’Wait a minute, I’ve never owned a Dodge Challenger,'" Carter said.
That's because an Eastpointe man allegedly stole Carter's identity, and took out three car insurance policies with it.
Christopher Still, 24, is charged with three counts of insurance fraud for obtaining an insurance policy using the victim’s name and date of birth; three counts of identity theft for obtaining an insurance policy in the victim's name using his date of birth, and three counts of using a computer to commit a crime for using a computer to commit the identity theft and insurance fraud.
"He got a better rate because I’m an older, safe driver with zero points," Carter said. "At one point my credit had gone down by 45 points. I hadn't purchased anything, I hadn't done anything differently, so there’s a connection between this happening and the insurance fraud."
Rep. Tyrone Carter
The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Fraud Investigation Unit (FIU) collaborated with the Department of Attorney General to investigate the case.
"We see in this case that anyone can be targeted for identity theft and fraud, which is why it is so important for all of us to be vigilant about protecting our personal information," said DIFS Director Anita Fox. "Having a fraudulent insurance policy opened under your name could give you and your family problems down the line, so we encourage Michiganders to check their credit reports and carefully review all financial documents they receive to make sure their identity is protected."
Suspected insurance fraud can be reported to DIFS anonymously by calling 877-999-6442 or online by visiting DIFS' website.