Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I HATE being used.

A local business owner experiences major damage to his equipment, caused by a customer being a little reckless with a borrowed car.

The customer, who has actually just committed a petty theft beforehand, actually stops and talks to the on-site employee before leaving in his friend's car.

Nobody calls the cops. Hey, it happened on private property; they don't have to.

Some weeks later, my P.D. receives a DVD from the local business owner, who has reviewed his very-cool digital video system that stores on his computer hard drive and off-site, and has burned the DVD of the entire incident, including the theft, in full color, from three different camera angles.

The case lands in my hands. I investigate, find the ne'er-do-well customer, deal with the theft, and get a statement from him.

I also file an accident report for good measure. I don't have to do this; the accident occurred well over a month before, on private property, and is essentially a civil manner. But I think that the business owner might appreciate that his police department is going the extra mile, and I spend the extra time and effort it takes to put together a perfect accident report, and distribute copies to the case file, the state crash reporting bureau, and eventually to the business owner.

The business owner files a public records request for the official police report. Fine.
The business owner asks for help in locating the owner of the borrowed vehicle. Fine.
The business owner asks for help in getting the insurance company's attention. Fine.

I eventually get a call from the business owner, stating that he is terribly sorry, but that the date on the DVD is off by 3 weeks. So, the date that I had put in the case report, on the criminal charge information, and on the accident report-- all is wrong. He takes me back to his office, and shows me the rather high-end computer system, to prove to me that the date on the camera management software is incorrect, and he has NO idea how to change it; he'll have to call tech support.

As an aside, he happens to mention that the insurance company insuring the borrowed car has brought to his attention that the insurance policy was only started a week AFTER the date that I had documented. But that's okay, he assures me, since I had put the wrong date on the documentation; I should have listed a date three weeks later, he explains. But it's not my fault, he's quick to explain-- it's the camera system's fault.

I ask him when was the last time he had changed the date on the camera system.

Never! He proclaims.

I gently inform him that the date as it sits on the camera system today is actually 3 weeks later than today's date. That error which he is presenting to me right now would have caused me to put a date three weeks later than it occurred. In fact, the error "proves" that the accident occurred three weeks before the date I observed on the DVD.

If date of the accident was X, and the error on the system was Y, then he is claiming that the error is X - Y, when the demonstration that he's showing me is for X + Y.

He looks flustered, and explains that there have been "power surges," which must have caused the problem. The system was X - Y BEFORE, but now it's X + Y.

Oh. So it's just varied its date by 2Y.

Just all of its own.

And Mr. Business Owner, who is savvy enough to install the digital surveillance system, mark three time tracks, and burn them onto a DVD, and administer the computer system in so many other ways, doesn't know how to adjust the date.

Now, if I were skeptical, I might just think that he had moved the date three weeks to try to get me to change the date of the accident record, to get the insurance company to accept his claim.

Yep, that's what I'd think.

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13 Comments:

At Thursday, November 29, 2007 5:03:00 PM, Blogger Assrot said...

Matt,
If this system is networked and apparently it is since it stores what the cameras record offsite somewhere then this system is automatically connected to a local (as in USA) and / or global (as in non-USA) time server. The time on the system is automatically checked and updated at least once everyday if not more. All modern surveillance systems are made that way these days to assure they date and time stamp recorded events accurately for evidence purposes.

This guy is feeding you a line of crap. These systems come with this feature turned on by default. There is no way the time is wrong on such a system unless the time service was either intentionally stopped or tampered with.

Check with the I.T. guys in your PD. They'll tell you what I am talking about.

I believe you are correct and this guy is full of shit and has tampered with the evidence to get the insurance company to pay up as you suspect.

Joe

 
At Thursday, November 29, 2007 5:07:00 PM, Blogger Not Afraid to Use It said...

Some people!! Good lord! Methinks your skepticism is well-founded.

 
At Thursday, November 29, 2007 5:37:00 PM, Blogger New Girl said...

Isn't that fraud? And...umm...isn't that illegal? Wouldn't you just loooove to burn the guy?

 
At Thursday, November 29, 2007 5:57:00 PM, Blogger Rabbit said...

Hmmm...what's the penalty for wire fraud these days?

Regards,
Rabbit.

 
At Thursday, November 29, 2007 5:58:00 PM, Blogger Fon said...

Thanks for the information on topics.I was excited for this article.
Thank you again.

Insurance information for good ideas.

 
At Thursday, November 29, 2007 6:19:00 PM, Blogger Sailorcurt said...

Is attempted insurance fraud an offense?

It would be hard to prove though and probably not worth the effort.

ps. I think you've got a spam comment from "fon" unless I'm misreading it.

 
At Thursday, November 29, 2007 6:20:00 PM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Ahhhh... Methinks I smell bovine excrement... Agree with Assrot, there is a true time on the computer somewhere and he is playing you for a dumb good ole boy.

 
At Thursday, November 29, 2007 6:41:00 PM, Blogger SpeakerTweaker said...

I ain't gonna get that deep into the technical garbage, but part of my job is dealing with this type of gear.

This dude is full of $#!t.

I'd hit this guy full-on. He's not the first guy to try to baffle someone with tech stuff thinking that it's too complicated for folks to understand.



tweaker

 
At Friday, November 30, 2007 1:08:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition, even the older systems will show in their event log any power outages, alarms, or time adjustments, as well as either the pre- and post-change times or the amount of the adjustment.

 
At Friday, November 30, 2007 6:24:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

Oh, don't worry-- I got it taken care of.

But gently.

Softly.

Without threats or lawyers.

Yes, insurance fraud is a crime. So is filing a false report. In the case of the affidavits that he wrote toward this, perjury might well be applicable.

But swing at things you can hit.

I took care of it.

 
At Friday, November 30, 2007 8:10:00 AM, Blogger Savy said...

Wow, that went too close to algebra for me in the middle, and I'm allergic to math. I think I have a headache! It must be so frustrating to sit back and watch people deliberately try to manipulate you. Ugh. :(

 
At Sunday, December 02, 2007 10:28:00 AM, Blogger phlegmfatale said...

What an asshat. I'd resent that, too.

 
At Monday, December 03, 2007 3:29:00 AM, Anonymous comatus said...

"To me, a claims man is a surgeon. That desk is an operating table. And those pencils are scalpels and bone chisels. And those papers are not just forms and statistics and claims for compensation, they're alive, they're packed with drama, with twisted hopes and crooked dreams."

--Edward G Robinson in "Double Indemnity."

 

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