Cautioning people against fraudulent offers being made by unscrupulous elements, Irdai on Monday asked the public to directly deal with insurance companies or registered intermediaries/agents while purchasing a policy.
In a public notice, the regulator said that the general public/policyholders have been receiving spurious calls from unidentified and unscrupulous individuals, posing as officials or representatives of Irdai, with fictitious and fraudulent offers which are beyond the scope of insurance policies.
They are using names like Insurance Transaction Department, RBI or any other name of existing government agencies and misleading the public about their authenticity, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) said.
"The callers offer unrealistic benefits in the existing life insurance policies including in lapsed policies of policyholders such as unclaimed bonus, agency commission, refund of investment amount/growth amount etc which they can claim, subject to upfront payment of fee/advance tax/deposit or payment to the account of the caller," it said.
The regulator said it does not involve directly in sale of any kind of insurance or financial products nor does it invest the premium received by insurance companies nor announces any bonus for policyholders or insurers.
"The public should directly deal with insurance companies or registered intermediaries/insurance agents while purchasing a policy or having any financial dealing with the insurance companies for verification," Irdai said.
It cautioned all policyholders and members of the public not to fall prey to fraudulent offers and asked them to remain alert against such frauds or scams perpetrated by miscreants.
The regulator further advised the public to verify the identity of the caller and the genuineness of the offer with the concerned insurance companies and registered intermediaries.
The list of insurance agents appointed by individual insurers can be verified from the respective insurers.
The customers should take due care and verify the genuineness of the website and of the insurer, intermediary or agent before making any online payment, Irdai added.