For Immediate Release: February 20, 2019

Contact: Barry Smith at 919-807-6014

Saint Pauls woman accused of falsely reporting electrical surge damage to TVs

RALEIGH -- North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced that Melissa Anne Oldfield, 25, of 580 E. McRainey Road, Saint Pauls, was charged with insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense, both felonies.

Special Agents with the Department of Insurance's Criminal Investigations Division accuse Oldfield of providing a misleading statement and a false handwritten diagnostic report to USAA Insurance to support a renters' insurance claim that stated two television sets were damaged by an electrical surge after Hurricane Florence.

The offense occurred on Sept. 13, 2018.

Oldfield was served a criminal summons on Feb. 1 and ordered to appear in Robeson County District Court on Feb. 25.

Fraud is felt every time consumers pay their insurance premiums. Commissioner Causey estimates fraud costs North Carolinians between 15 and 20 cents on every dollar paid on insurance premiums.

"Insurance fraud affects our economy. Not only does it damage insurance companies, it cheats businesses and consumers too," Commissioner Causey said. "This kind of white-collar crime is unacceptable. That's why I've doubled the number of Special Agents to investigate insurance fraud. Cracking down on fraud will put more money in the pockets of businesses and consumers."

To report suspected fraud, contact the N.C. Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous. Information is also available at www.ncdoi.com.

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