There definitely isn’t love in the air for callers to the Manitoba Public Insurance TIPS line in February.
MPI says as Valentine’s Day rolls around, the anti-fraud line typically sees the most calls than any other time of the year.
“Last year, February was the busiest month for tip calls,” said Curtis Wennberg, chief operating officer with MPI. “I suppose nothing says ‘I don’t love you anymore’ than by placing a call to the anti-fraud TIPS line.
“While all calls to the TIPS Line are anonymous, some callers will admit to being an ex-spouse or ex-partner of a person allegedly defrauding the Corporation. We can only speculate that emotions of past romantic relationships are triggered by increased talk about Valentine’s Day. Regardless of the reason, MPI is very appreciative of their help.”
Data provided by MPI shows that during the last five years (2015-2019), on average, there has been an increase of calls placed to the TIPS Line during February. Overall, 2019 was a record year for tips to the line with a total of 594 compared to 439 in 2018 — a 35 percent increase.
When MPI receives a call to the TIPS line, its investigators probe the claim for potential fraud, which the Crown corporation says costs ratepayers about $50 individually annually.
Last year, more than $10 million was saved as MPI’s Special Investigation Unit closed more than 1,200 investigators.
Anyone who suspects insurance fraud can call MPI anonymously at (204) 985-8477 or toll-free 1-877-985-8477.