In at least seven of the 17 cases of fraudulent transactions in the form of insurance policies, the arrested suspects were found to have been former employees of insurance companies from where they stole the records of insured people after leaving their jobs. The Chandigarh Cyber Cell has also found that fraudsters often gained the trust of insurance policyholders by not disclosing their real identity to them.
In one of the recent cases, Tarun Sharma (34), a resident of Ghaziabad, allegedly stole confidential insurance records of Prem Lal (retired Chandigarh PGI inspector), who had quit his company in 2019. Sharma allegedly cheated Prem Lal of Rs 60 lakh.
The Cyber Cell has so far received at least 8 complaints of insurance fraud cases in which victims have lost a minimum of Rs 20 lakh each in the last 9 months. The police are investigating these cases and are trying to trace the money trail from the bank accounts where the victims have deposited the money.
This type of crime is spreading in the National Capital Region (NCR) where fraudsters get code numbers by pretending to represent many insurance companies that are in fact fake. Whenever the fraudsters call, the victims believe they are receiving a genuine call from their insurance company. In some cases, the criminal masterminds employ people by making frequent calls and opening bank accounts with their identity proofs. The arrested persons were found to have a good understanding of the insurance business.
In April 2022, Deepak Chandra, a retired Air Force master warrant officer, was arrested in Delhi for defrauding a Rs 99,880 pensioner by claiming that his GIS (Group Insurance Scheme) of Rs 4.75,000 had lapsed. The investigation revealed that the suspects had obtained the data of the pensioner, including seniors, from a website called Justdial. The suspects claimed to the victim over the phone that their GIS money, provident funds and authority to release them had lapsed.
In almost all cases of insurance fraud, the accused were either directly or indirectly connected with the insurance firms from which they obtained the records of the victims. These criminals do not target policyholders randomly, but strike at least once a year. Most of the victims are wealthy individuals, retired defense personnel, and government employees.
In some cases, the accused had purchased insurance policyholder records from former employees of the insurance firms. In July 2022, a former employee of an insurance firm Faisal Hussain was arrested in Hyderabad for cheating a man named Malkit Singh by claiming to update his HDFC life policy.