Some fraudsters pretending as IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Auhtority) employees are luring customers with false promises of bonus on their existing insurance policies if they buy a new plan, according to media reports.
The racket has managed to sell around 4,000 policies to buyers in the past 12 months. Some fraudsters tell the victim that a big bonus has been declared on his existing policy but to get the money he must buy a new plan directly from IRDA. Others trap buyers by saying that their policies have been chosen for a bonus payment through a random draws, the reports added.
The scamsters usually don’t meet the victim in person but make phone calls. Once the fraudster gains the confidence of the buyer, he sends a courier boy to pick up the documents from the victim, the reports said.
IRDA said that in Q1 FY12-13, it has received over 1,000 complaints relating to these fraudulent calls. The regulator has alerted buyers against such ‘spurious calls’ by adding notifications on its website and through its newly launched consumer education portal.
The notification pointed out that IRDA is a regulatory body which does not involve directly or through any representative in sale of insurance or financial products. Any person making transaction with such individuals/agents will be doing the same at their own risk. If public notices such instances, they may lodge a police complaint in the local police station.
The regulator has also written to the Life Insurance Council as well as to the CEOs of various life insurers, urging them to investigate such instances and take action against the fraudsters.