Consumer Alert! Are you buying online insurance from this fake website?
Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has issued a notice in public interest cautioning about a fake website using the name of the authority to sell insurance products to prospective buyers. The IRDAI in its notice says that a website using the domain name of www.irdaionline.org is selling insurance to the general public while this domain is not authorized by the Authority. IRDAI further states that the IRDAI authorized website is having domain name www.irdaonline.org and which also hosts the Centralized Agency Portal. This consumer alert should be an eye-opener to those who do not verify the authenticity of websites before transacting through them.
IRDAI has constantly issued such public notices communicating policyholders and new buyers that it does not sell any insurance products. Earlier IRDAI had cautioned the public at large that it is had been brought to their notice about people receiving a lot of spurious calls in the name of officials of IRDAI making fraud related claims and giving fictitious offers to buy insurance from them. Such spurious calls typically offered the following fake offers:
Claiming that IRDA is distributing bonus to insurance policyholders out of the funds invested by insurance companies with IRDA.
Claiming that the policyholder would receive bonuses being distributed by IRDA if they purchase an insurance policy and wait for a few months after which the bonus would be released by IRDA.
Advising existing policyholders that money in respect of their policy has been fraudulently transferred to someone else and for receiving that money back from IRDA, they have to fulfil certain formalities including payment of money
Claiming that they are from the Grievance Cell or IGMS Department of IRDA making a call in continuation with a complaint made against an insurer and for resolving the grievance and release of benefit, they have to fulfil certain formalities including payment of money.
Advising customers to subscribe to a fresh policy after the surrender of the existing policy and wait for a few months after which the fresh policy would be entitled to additional enhanced returns/benefits.
Informing that ‘Survival Benefit or Maturity Proceeds or Bonus’ is due under their existing policy and investing in a new insurance policy is mandatory to receive the amounts which are due.
Advising the public to invest in insurance policies to avail gifts, promotional offers, interest-free loans, or setting up of Telecom towers or other such offers.
In May 2019, brought out a notice about an entity by the name “Marines Technology” (with email id as firstname.lastname@example.org) which had been offering general insurance products although it had not been licensed or granted registration by the IRDAI to sell insurance policies of any kind.IRDAI had stated that the said entity was also presenting itself to be authorized with IRDAI and working for IRDAI which was not true.
IRDAI is the regulator of the insurance sector and does not sell insurance of any nature and neither will it call any policyholder for any reasons. Attending to spurious calls or visiting fake websites will unnecessarily put your hard-earned money in jeopardise. Knowing the modus operandi of the fake operators will help you keep your finances safe.