Most insurance policy holders get trapped easily with letters which have logos and signatures that seem authentic and official as per reports. In case you get a letter straight from the Union Finance Ministry which directs you to pay taxes in order to claim refunds for insurance policies which have lapsed, simply BEWARE! This is certain to be absolutely fake!
Letters which have seemingly authentic official logos from the Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, are being dispatched by scamsters nowadays in order to trick customers. SM Soyeb, a customer, got a letter seemingly from the Department of Distributions, Office of the Commissioner of Excise and Service Tax, Room No: 134, North Block, New Delhi. This letter claimed that Regulatory Insurance Life which is something that is non-existent had decided to issue a refund to customers for their lapsed policies. It also stated that Soyeb was eligible to get a refund of Rs. 3.50 lakh.
However, to get this amount, he was directed to pay up Rs. 26, 315 as the refundable tax to a particular account which would be informed later on by a call centre as informed in the letter. According to experts, many of them have seen such letters for the very first time, which indicates the need for alertness and awareness amongst insurance policy holders. There are growing instances of frauds via fraudulent emails, phone calls and such letters.
Policy holders should always check with their insurance companies first before following any instruction. As per officials from the IRDAI, mis-selling and fraudulent calls from fake and unauthorized representatives have gone up hugely in recent times who take the names of well-known insurance companies. In some cases, fraudsters have also told customers that IRDAI was directing them to make payments on grounds which were absolutely false.
A television commercial is currently running on behalf of IRDAI in order to foster more awareness amongst the masses with regard to fake calls, letters and other such fraudulent activities. People are being urged to instantly approach the police in such instances. Experts state that some fraudsters hook innocent and vulnerable customers with bank accounts which have names similar to those of leading insurance companies and also by sending fake letters with logos of Government organizations and seals for heightened credibility. Fraudsters who make phone calls usually ask for payment immediately of processing fees for claiming the insurance policy which has lapsed.