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EQC reaffirms zero tolerance for fraud

 

The Earthquake Commission has a zero tolerance policy for fraud, Bruce Emson, General Manager Customer Services said today.

“Since February 2011 our Investigations Unit has looked into 880 cases where there were irregularities,” he said.

“To date, we have referred 21 files to the police, and we now have five convictions with two hearings pending,” he said.

Mr Emson said the vast majority of customers, contractors and staff involved in the residential rebuild are genuine and honest.

“Unfortunately a few do deliberately attempt to cheat the system, and we do have to be vigilant,” he said.

“Our job is to ensure that our customers get their fair entitlement, nothing more and nothing less.”

EQC has a confidential investigation line where members of the public can report suspicious activity: 0800 0027 28, and an online form on the EQC website. All information received is treated confidentially.

“Internationally, it’s been recognised that around 40% of frauds are detected as a result of people raising concerns about something that didn’t add up,” Mr Emson says.

“Making a false claim is simply stealing from every New Zealander. That said, not every claim that attracts attention involves deliberate dishonesty. In many cases, there has been an honest mistake which we can resolve.

“But there have been some serious cases where the action has been so deliberate and calculated that we have no choice but to refer it to the police.” 

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