Real Life Case:
Complainant stated that he received calls from an unknown number - 9988xxxxxx by a person identifying himself as head of Finance operation, Max Life Insurance’s head office in Gurgaon. The complainant was offered a policy payment option for his MAX Life Insurance policy number 1088xxxx. The caller also sent some mail from the email email@example.com.
The complainant then agreed to make the payment of the amount after he got SMS message from the official automated number of Max Life Insurance mentioning the policy number, beneficiary account number, account name and the IFS code.
The caller then requested him to send the money to the given bank account 788xxxxxxxxxx. And was informed that he shall get a receipt of the payment within 24-72 hours which eventually did not happen. Upon calling Max Life call center he was told that he has been a victim of a fraud and that no money had been credited to his insurance policy. The fraudster number became unreachable subsequently.
How To Protect Youself:
Ask the insurance agent for ID proof:
According to the strict directives issued by the IRDA to the insurance agencies, all the agents working on the behalf of the insurance companies must undergo stringent training and also need to acquire a proof of identification. If an agent approaches you, you should first ask for his/ her ID, note down the details and call the customer care number of the insurance provider to confirm the identity.
Never pay in cash:
No insurance agent will ever ask you for cash. Also, in order to ensure that you are writing the cheque to the right account, you should call the customer care centre and confirm the details to be mentioned on the cheque.
Do not disclose the details of your policy:
Divulging details of your policy documents to an unknown third party is a sure way of attracting insurance fraud. Sometimes, a fraudster might pose as an insurance agent, asking you for details about your policy.
Purchase insurance policies online:
To avoid the risk of insurance frauds, you may buy insurance policies online, without having to deal with an agent. Not only will this cut out the middleman, but also guarantee a safe and transparent transaction. Make sure you follow the payment steps and do not disclose your credit card information to anyone. Also, always confirm that you are making payments on the insurance provider’s recommended site, as it will have a secure SSL-enabled payment gateway.
Immediately report loss of a policy document:
Otherwise, fraudsters might gain access to your policy documents and make a claim in your name. This is why you should keep your insurance documents in a bank locker, if need be, and make copies of them as well. Immediately notify the insurance fraud investigator in the event you misplace or lose your documents. In most cases, you are required to lodge an FIR, place an advertisement in the newspapers and also provide the insurer with an indemnity bond on a stamp paper.
Ensure that you write policy documents yourself:
If you choose offline route to purchase the insurance, you should fill in the policy documents yourself to avoid insurance fraud cases. Read and understand the terms and conditions, inclusions and exclusions, check for spelling errors etc. if the policy document is being filled in by an agent on your behalf. Do not sign on any policy documents unless you have read it through and through.
Provide identity proofs only to reliable personnel:
Agents might take your ID proofs and misuse them. You should ensure that you hand over your ID proofs only to reliable agencies, to prevent identity theft and insurance fraud cases from taking place.
Be careful when transacting from the internet kiosks or public networks:
Electronically perpetrated insurance fraud cases are on the rise. Wi-Fi networks can be used by scammers to steal your personal information. Be careful while transacting via these networks or accessing personal information. Make sure you sign out of all the public computers after using them and use encrypted connections when you make the payments online.