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Whitsett man charged with insurance fraud after investigators say he lied about stolen televisions

State investigators say Shamar Vanhook, 19, reported that the TV sets were stolen during a break-in, but that never happened.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Editor's note: The attached video is from a Q&A segment with a Better Business Bureau expert about how to identify potential scams and fraud. 

A Whitsett man faces felony insurance fraud charges, the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner announced Tuesday. 

State investigators said Shamar Vanhook, 19, tried to collect money through Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company by telling the company that two television sets were stolen during a break-in. Investigators said the break-in never happened. 

The fraud happened between Oct. 30, 2019 and Dec. 20, 2019, according to a release. 

Vanhook was charged with insurance fraud and attempting to obtain property by false pretense, both felonies. 

Vanhook was served with a criminal summons on Nov. 6. He has a hearing scheduled in Guilford County District Court on Nov. 16.

The NCDOI estimates fraud costs North Carolinians between 15 and 20 cents on every dollar paid on insurance premiums, maybe more. 

Over the past two years, investigators say they have recovered $7.5 million in damages, which in turn helps preserve insurance rates. 

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.gov.