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Insurance Fraud Casebook: Paying a Premium for Crime by Joseph T. Wells, Laura Hymes

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Falling Prey to Online Charms

TINA HANCOCK

Rick Alley had been out of work too long. Money was running low, and he wasn't comfortable accepting help from his wife's family. One day, while at home surfing the Internet, he saw an advertisement about making a living working online. The ad described how he could learn how to sell insurance from the comfort of his home, and it sounded ideal. All he had to do was pay $39 for the e-book sold on the website and he would be able to run his own agency. Rick paid the $39 with his credit card and downloaded the insurance manual onto his computer. He flipped through the pages, excited at the prospect of getting back to work again.

After finishing the manual, though, Rick didn't feel so confident. Running his own agency sounded a lot more difficult than he imagined. About that time, Denny Morfine, the book's author, called Rick to follow up on his purchase. Denny said he was sure that Rick could pass his state licensing exam. Although Denny was in a southwestern state and Rick was living up north, Denny assured him he would be there every step of the way to help him with the insurance agency. Rick thought, “What do I have to lose?” He eked through the licensing exam and started his insurance business online, right out of his home.

Denny built a website for Rick's agency, which he named Insurance Alley, to help market the business online. Ads ...

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