To say that cyber crimes today are on the rise would be an understatement. It has, in fact, permeated our lives in such a way that the slightest slack on our part when it comes to maintaining the privacy of our banking or social media accounts can put us in hot water. Most of the time, the victims of cyber crimes are not even aware of the various ways in which cyber crimes work, and as a result they become vulnerable to all sorts of scams and frauds. It is important to understand how cyber criminals work and the various ways in which they operate so that we can put ourselves on guard. One of the ways by which they trick people is through insurance scams and they keep calling people as insurance agents. The fake calls can come in a number of different ways.

·         The first kind of fake call will have the caller pose as a executive of the LIC company branch who will tell you to transfer the existing policies you have into other policies for better and higher returns. They will ask for the policy details to help you with the matter and as soon as you hand them over, the profits from your policy are stolen by them.

·         Another type of call that is made to dupe people is by calling them and telling that an annual equity bonus is lying unclaimed in the account and to claim that money, one needs to transfer a particular sum to a particular account. Or else, the money would be transferred to the insurance agent instead or to the government. This can never be and so one must never transfer any money to unidentified bank accounts.

·         It can also be claimed through another type of call that the insurance agent purchased an insurance policy of a particular company at the time of purchasing the LIC policy. Dividends from the company would be transferred to the agent and one must prevent this from happening by transferring a particular sum to a bank account. Again, one must always avoid unsolicited transfers.

·         Tempting the person with bonuses is a tried and tested method. The policy details will be asked by the caller because apparently you have an unclaimed bonus amount which would them be transferred to you. Or else it would be transferred to the agent code. One of the most common frauds calls is the verification call where bank details and Aadhar details would be asked for in the name of verification. If not, then the policy would be blocked and the returns denied.

·         Another kind of call entails that the policy is up for cancellation or the policy has lapsed due to some reason. The bank details and other personal details will be asked for to transfer the accumulated money or to surrender the old policy and buy a new one.

·         Calls related to bonus cancellation of money are common. It would be said that 40% of the money from the bonus would be transferred to LIC agent and 60% to the branch and one needs to send Rs 30000 to raise an objection with bank details and other personal details.

·         Calls are often made by scammers saying that the insurance policies are a loss or new policies will be issued in better terms if the old ones are surrendered. It is also said that one has already been cheated but if all the verification details are provided, the previous policy would be cancelled and one can still get the money back.

·         Scammers also call claiming that they are calling from the IRDAI saying you are entitled to receive a bonus but to retrieve it one has to make a fresh investment. Or maybe, there is a problem with the existing policy that has rendered it useless and by sending Rs 20,000 the mistake could be rectified.

All these are methods and excuses used by the scammers and one of the first precautions that one can take is never to reveal any sort of information to anyone over the phone pertaining to the insurance policy one has or one’s private identification details like PAN or Aadhar. Insurance companies will never contact the users over the phone asking for sensitive information. One should also resist the temptation of better returns that the fraudsters often claim to get you in return. Make sure you always use a cheque while making payments because they are traceable and always visit the company in person in case of a transfer.

In case one is already a victim, one should inform the insurance company and also inform the bank to cancel all transfers from the cheque.

While making a complaint, collect all details of transaction from the bank for the last six months and file an FIR with all the copy of the SMSs and emails that the fraudsters had used.