The Dumbest Insurance Fraud Attempts Ever: #5

Elderly Woman Staged 49 Slip-and-Fall Injuries

Pretending to slip, fall, and sustain an injury in a supermarket is an old trick often used by people who want to con insurance companies. Most of these bogus claims are not successful because the fraudulent attempts are often obvious. However, Isabel Parker, a 72-year-old woman with a bad gambling habit, has mastered this scheme and was able to collect $500,115 from a total of 49 deceptive personal injury claims.


The slip-and-fall queen spent most of her retirement in New Jersey casinos and decided to finance her hobby with money from insurance scams. Insurance fraudsters usually carry out the smooth floor slipping scheme in the following way. They enter a store acting like ordinary shoppers, wander to the back of the store where no one is looking and the store owner did not install surveillance cameras, spill some liquid on the floor, and pretend to fall. Of course, the fall is accompanied by loud groaning.

After staging her falls, Ms. Parker usually stayed down, rubbing her sore back or legs and waiting until someone found her. Between the 1993 and 2000, she filed and won 49 deceitful slip-and-fall insurance claims after staging injuries in supermarkets, department stores, and liquor shops and even on sidewalks outside different firms.


Ms. Parker was using different aliases, including the names of close relatives, as well as fake social security numbers and addresses in order to prevent insurance companies from discovering her scheme. She settled her claims with insurance companies over the phone with payouts ranging from $455 to $27,640. However, the scam was revealed when one insurance employee started to be suspicious when an elderly woman wanted a quick settlement of $22,500. She was available only by cell phone and did not have a permanent address. Plus, there were no witnesses of her alleged accidents. After checking a database of active insurance claims, the employee discovered a long list of claims with the same addresses the woman provided. It was not easy to reveal all the scams, as she used more than 40 different aliases and various social security numbers.


Finally, after an extensive investigation, Ms. Parker was charged with 20 counts of insurance fraud and related offences in Philadelphia, Delaware County, and New Jersey. Ms. Parker pleaded guilty to 29 counts of insurance fraud and theft by deception in June 2002. She confessed that once she realized how easy it was to obtain insurance settlements, she could not resist. Her lawyer claimed that she committed the series of frauds because she could not stay away from gambling establishments due to her addiction. The judge was merciful and she received a four-year sentence under house arrest.

The LSM’s Take

Disability insurance claims are more prevalent than life insurance claims, but there is much more grey area as to whether a claim should be paid.

This lends itself to more manipulation and more fraud. Some occupations are more susceptible to disability insurance fraud, and the insurance companies price this into their premiums accordingly. The reality is that disability insurance fraud is a cost to the insurer that is at least in part passed on to the consumer.

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  • Simon
    July 9, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    I hope that no attorney represented her here. This is a shameful practice that hurts our profession, as well as actual victims of negligence.

    Jail time is warranted.

  • HentaiSensai
    July 3, 2014 at 8:38 am

    She should join a soccer team

  • Kevin H @ Growing Family Benefits
    July 2, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    I am shocked to read that the number of claims at one address reached 40 before someone noticed. This should have been flagged much earlier given all the sophisticated fraud software, and the high stakes of even a single claim.

    • LSM Insurance
      July 3, 2014 at 8:36 am

      I agree, Kevin. Cases like this should be a reminder to everyone responsible so they take their jobs more seriously. Higher amount of successful frauds means higher premiums for everyone.

  • Jarom Tefteller
    July 2, 2014 at 2:57 am

    It’s really funny.

    • LSM Insurance
      July 2, 2014 at 6:25 am

      Thank you, Jarom! We’re glad you like it!