In at least seven out of 17 cases involving fraud masquerading as investments in insurance policies, the apprehended suspects have been identified as former employees of various insurance companies. They illicitly accessed records of insured individuals upon departing from their positions.
The Cyber Cell of the Chandigarh Police has also uncovered instances where fraudsters successfully built trust with insurance policyholders without disclosing their true identities in person.
For instance, one of the recently apprehended individuals, Tarun Sharma, aged 34 from Ghaziabad, was found to have stolen confidential insurance records belonging to a retired Chandigarh police inspector named Prem Lal when he left his job in Noida in 2019. Sharma is now facing allegations of defrauding Prem Lal of Rs 60 lakh.
Over the past nine months, the Cyber Cell has received a minimum of eight complaints related to insurance frauds in Chandigarh, leading to financial losses totaling at least Rs 20 lakh. These complaints are presently under investigation, and the police are diligently tracing the money trail through the bank accounts into which victims deposited their funds.
“This particular type of crime is on the rise in the NCR region, where fraudsters obtain code numbers under the guise of representing fictitious insurance firms. When making calls, victims believe they are interacting with legitimate representatives from their insurance companies. In some cases, the mastermind behind the scheme employs individuals to frequently make calls and open bank accounts using their identity documents,” elucidated a source within the Cyber Cell. The arrested suspects have demonstrated a substantial understanding of the insurance industry, according to the same source.
In an April incident, two individuals named Deepak Chandra and Raja Kumar were arrested in Delhi for duping a retired air force master warrant officer of Rs 99,880. They lured the victim by falsely asserting that his group insurance scheme (GIS), valued at approximately Rs 4.75 lakh, had matured. Subsequent investigation revealed that the suspects obtained data of retired individuals, including senior citizens, from the Justdial website. They then deceitfully claimed to the victims over the phone that they controlled their GIS funds, provident funds, and had the authority to release them.
“In nearly all cases associated with insurance fraud, we discovered that the accused had direct or indirect connections to insurance firms, from which they sourced the victims’ records. Their selection of policyholders was not arbitrary. These perpetrators usually strike once a year and primarily target affluent individuals, particularly retired defense personnel and government employees. In some instances, we found that the accused had acquired the records of insurance policyholders from former employees of insurance companies,” reported DSP (Cyber) A Venkatesh.