Expert warns of fraud dangers as city rebuilds

11:32 pm on 20 September 2012

A fraud specialist visiting Christchurch has warned of the dangers of fraud as the city begins to rebuild from the earthquakes.

Peter Dent, a partner with Deloitte in Canada, has extensive experience with fraud in the aftermath of natural disasters such as the Japan earthquake, Hurricane Katrina and the Indonesian tsunami.

Mr Dent told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme on Thursday it is almost certain that fraudsters are trying to exploit the situation in Christchurch, including filing false insurance claims.

"You have to put it in context. The majority of insurance claims are legitimate claims - and these are legitimate people who have a need for assistance.

"But there are a minority of people that take advantage of the situation, exaggerate their claims, put in false claims or make claims for damage outside of the real geographic area affected by the disaster."

Mr Dent says another common scam following quakes is setting up fraudulent charities.