A Salem-based insurance agent, Tricia Klock, has been stripped of her license and fined $11,000 by the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) for committing fraudulent activities, including identity theft, misrepresenting details of insurance policies to her clients, and raising coverage on a vehicle after an accident.
Convicted of ID theft
According to the DFR, Klock was convicted of four counts of ID theft in April 2023, for using the personal identification of each victim for her own use, “with the intent to deceive and defraud”. She pleaded no contest to the charges and received 18 months of probation. She also agreed not to have a fiduciary role as part of her plea agreement.
Misrepresented herself as an insurance agent
Klock violated several laws while doing business as an insurance agent, which DFR regulates. She falsely told an insurance investigator that coverage increased prior to an accident, instructed her client to lie to an insurance company claims investigator about higher auto coverage, falsely represented that an insurance policy included full coverage for all vehicles in a family, increased coverage for a family’s vehicles immediately after learning of a car accident, falsely represented to her client that a payment made would be applied to insurance premiums, and lied about full coverage of an auto policy.
Accused of stealing money from travel clients
Klock, who is also a travel agent, was accused in 2019 by former travel clients of stealing their money after not booking trips they paid for through her travel agency. According to her former clients, many had no places while others had no return trips booked in foreign countries. The DFR did not mention any action taken against Klock for her travel agency business.
Consumers urged to verify credentials
This incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of vigilance when dealing with travel agents and insurance providers. Consumers are urged to thoroughly check the credentials of agents and agencies they engage with, to ensure that they are dealing with reputable professionals. The DFR recommends the following precautions for consumers:
- Verify credentials: Always confirm the credentials of travel agents and insurance agents. Legitimate professionals will have proper licenses and certifications.
- Check references: Ask for and verify references from past clients. Reputable agents will have satisfied customers willing to vouch for their services.
- Review contracts carefully: Read all contracts and agreements thoroughly before making any payments. Ensure that all services and coverages are clearly outlined.
- Report suspicious activity: If you suspect fraudulent activity or encounter questionable practices, report it to the relevant authorities immediately.
The DFR has posted the consent order on its website, which details the charges and penalties against Klock. The DFR also encourages consumers to contact them at 888-877-4894 or email@example.com if they have any questions or concerns about their insurance policies or agents.