If you pay insurance premiums‚ you’re already a victim of insurance fraud. And some fraud schemes — such as those involving arson or a staged auto accident — can put innocent human lives in harm’s way.

This is why insurance fraud is such a serious crime. In Pennsylvania, insurance fraud is a felony‚ punishable by up to seven years in prison and up to $15‚000 in fines. There are also restitution‚ court costs‚ and lawyer’s fees to pay. Plus‚ those who are convicted get a felony charge on their record that follows them for life‚ and that can stand in the way of securing employment or housing.

The crime also brings with it consequences on the home front. Someone with a felony conviction often risks damaging his or her relationship with friends and family‚ is made an outcast within the community‚ and is viewed as an undesirable employee — or ex-employee‚ in some cases.

Anyone thinking about committing insurance fraud should think about these life-changing consequences. Why risk wrecking your life through an act of dishonesty? It’s just not worth it.