When Insurance Extortion Goes Wrong: 3 Outrageous Tales

March 25, 2013


Every year, the insurance company water-cooler is all abuzz with the latest and greatest scams, halted right in their tracks. Or, in some cases, scams that are just now being brought to light years after the checks were signed and delivered.  You can follow this link for a reputable insurance company, unlike those mentioned in this post!

Unfortunately for you, the honest premium-paying consumer, this results in a slow but steady rate climb, as insurance companies have to recoup the losses that these scammers inflict.

Here’s your chance to find out a little more about the outrageous insurance scams that have lightened your pocket book over the years—but don’t try these at home

1.     The Coffin Charade


In Los Angeles, two funeral home workers decided to concoct a full-blown charade of a funeral for a family member who allegedly died, leaving them with a $950,000 life insurance policy to collect.


What’s the twist? This “family member” didn’t even exist.


These two pre-plotted this out to the nines: they obtained an insurance policy, “killed” the non-existent holder, and then orchestrated a funeral production that included a coffin filled with cow meat, a mannequin, and bones, with paid-off fake mourners to top it all off. Then, in order to cover their tracks, they had the “body” exhumed, cremated, and the ashes scattered at sea.

Unfortunately, the doctor whom they bribed for fake medical documentation had an attack of conscience, refused to cooperate, and foiled the entire plot.

2.     The “But I’m a Princess!” Plot

 In 2004, Princess Antoinette paraded around the high society of New York City flashing her expensive jewelry every which way she went. When she was finally mugged, no one was terribly surprised.

However, they were very surprised when it came to light that Princess Antoinette, a member of the Saudi royal family, had never actually lived in New York City and the woman claiming to be here was actually con artist Lisa Walker.

Apparently, Ms. Walker maintained her image and was able to fool the Upper West Side with the use of a no-limit American Express Centurion credit card, which she used to purchase her large quantities of jewelry—to be exact, $262,000 worth. Her mugging, of course, was staged so that she could collect on the insured jewelry and Ms. Walker pled mental illness when charged—she only served one year in a mental hospital

3.     The “Student Arson” Attempt

 In 2005, Tramesha Fox—a teacher from Texas—picked out two students who were failing her class and offered them an instant “A” if they took on a little extra credit assignment.


She asked them to steal her car and torch it!

Ms. Fox reasoned that she could pad her teacher’s salary with the insurance check she’d receive to replace her stolen and destroyed vehicle, and to her credit, she followed through on her side of the bargain, awarding the students an “A” in her class.


However, both the school and the parents grew suspicious as the students had just been failing the class and the truth was uncovered. Both Ms. Fox, and her students, were charged with arson.  

To read some interesting and informative insurance related articles, please click here.

 This post was brought to you by Suncorp Life Insurance. It’s important to do the appropriate research when considering an insurance provider. Suncorp is one of Australia’s leading insurance companies & can help guide you in the right direction when you’re considering a provider.



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  • Nick @ ayoungpro.com March 26, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Haha, I love the story about the teacher and the students. What a sad commentary on the compensation of what should be one of our most revered professions.

    • Marissa March 30, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      It’s ironic isn’t it?

  • KK @ Student Debt Survivor March 26, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    #1, umm gross, and sad and weird all at the same time, I’m not even sure what to say. Some people are very imaginative, err fraudulent.

    • Marissa March 30, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      Can you imagine what else they could do with that imagination?

  • AverageJoe March 27, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Those are fantastic stories. I love watching criminals hatch elaborate plots that unwind.

    • Marissa March 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      I wonder if movies and TV shows help these criminals get these ideas

  • John @ WILD about Finance March 28, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Don’t get me started on insurance companies!

    • Marissa March 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      Speaking as someone who pays a RIDICULOUS amount of money on insurance every month, I understand.

  • Ron April 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Wow, I can’t believe the arson story. that’s pretty crazy!