Cyber scamsters find new target: Insurance companies

Insurance companies

Cyber scamsters have discovered a novel way to make a quick buck; target insurance companies. Taking advantage of anonymity which the internet offers, people have made crores of rupees just by buying term policies.

Four insurance companies, including one in Halwasiya market in Hazratganj, have approached STF with eight complaints.

While buying a policy online, a buyer has to fill in personal details and also make a declaration of physical life bannerID proofs such as PAN card, voter ID card, driving license are scanned and uploaded or sent by post.

No physical verification or background checks are run and the policy holder becomes eligible to claim crores of rupees by paying up to Rs 25,000.

Forged user IDs, medical records and death certificates have been used to raise claims amounting to Rs 10 crore.

Additional superintendent of UP STF and nodal officer of its cyber wing Triveni Singh said fraudsters have first opened bank accounts in forged names.

“Everything they enter in online forms to create user profile is based on forged identities. Only the bank account number opened in advance to commit the fraud is correct.

Claims of eight policy holders have been red-flagged and all of them said their age was below 40,” said Singh.

The total value of the flagged policies is pegged close to Rs 11 crore out of which claim of Rs 1.50 crore has been approved.

Senior manager of the Hazratganj-based headquarters of a company alerted cops after he found they had been duped.

A single claim of Rs 1.50 crore had been processed at Ghaziabad and role of the local branch is under scanner now.

Later on, inquiry revealed everything was made up and the beneficiary never actually existed. “He had assumed a different identity. It seem rigorous check was not made before giving final approval,” added Singh.

In the Ghaziabad case, the beneficiary’s spouse and nominee (also accomplice in the fraud) submitted admission certificate, surgical history, discharge summary and discharge letter to show her husband suffered a massive cardiac problem and died subsequently.

The exact quantum of fraud is unknown at this stage but insurance companies operating out of UP, NCR, Gujarat, Uttaranchal and Bihar are suspected to have incurred heavy losses in the past six months.

Some people who facilitated the fraud have been identified. Private hospitals who provided medical history will be also booked and so will be the employees of civic body who helped create death certificates, police said.

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