By Jeff Baker, Program Administrator, BWC Special Investigations Department
In recognition of International Fraud Awareness Week 2017, we are increasing awareness of fraud and the vigilance of everyday citizens to report suspected fraud committed against the Ohio workers’ compensation system.
A suspicion can be reported online, by email to our secure BWC Allegations@bwc.state.oh.us account, U.S. Postal Service or by calling our Fraud Hotline at 1-800-644-6292. Calling the BWC Fraud Hotline is the most interactive and direct way that you, our partners in fraud prevention and detection, can help.
We realize that such partnerships are necessary to achieve our fraud prevention goals. Since the creation of our Special Investigations Department (SID) in 1993, thousands of our closed, founded cases started with a call to our Fraud Hotline. For example, the conviction of Tim Tokles on August 30, 2017 was the result of just such a call.
You may suspect someone is working while receiving compensation, filed a false claim for an injury that did not happen or is committing another type of workers’ compensation fraud. Calling a fraud hotline may seem rather intimidating. We understand that it can be a nerve-wracking decision to make the call. The person you suspect of fraud could be a friend, a loved-one or even an immediate family member.
Above all, we realize the importance of personal security and safety to each caller.
When you call the SID Fraud Hotline, you will speak with a real person on the other end, one who is ready and willing to listen to your concerns and has years of investigative knowledge, skills and experience securing the essential information from sources like you. Whether your fraud hotline agent is Jake, Taylor, Karen, Connor, Jeff, or any of eight of our most experienced fraud analysts assigned to special investigations unit (SIUs) statewide, you will know within seconds that you have reached a committed, successful professional.
Your fraud hotline agent will know and promptly secure the information needed by our teams of 125 SID employees. Your identity will remain either anonymous or confidential, depending upon your preference. You do not need to have proven any facts; you do not even need to have 100 percent confidence in your suspicion. You need only to suspect that fraud may have occurred or continue to occur. We will conduct the investigation and determine the facts.
The entire process entails as few as five minutes. Nonetheless, collecting the right information from a caller requires our SID Fraud Hotline professionals to devote as much time as the caller’s unique allegation merits.
When calling, please provide the information you have, including:
- The name and address (if known) of the subject you’re reporting;
- A description of the suspect’s behavior; and
- Any other information that might pertain to the suspected fraudulent activity.
It is through the vigilance of citizens like you, that we are combatting workers’ compensation fraud in Ohio.