‘Was Insurance Scam Victim, Won’t Rest till I Bring Them to Books’

Ashwath Bhatt
·4-min read

Video Editor: Vivek Gupta
Video Producer: Aliza Noor

While insurance frauds are not news, they have been a reality for a long time. Some employees of a company may not just con you and steal your money, but also break your trust. Recently, I have found myself to be a victim of such a fraud by PNB MetLife Insurance company.

The two employees – Kuldeep Khanna and Sakshi Kathuria – visited my house and took my papers for what was supposed to be a transfer of policy, but they surrendered my policy without my knowledge or consent.

The deeper I dug, I realised how they carried out the scam and how this could be so harmful for senior citizens and for the socio-economically disadvantaged if they got trapped in similar scams.

How I Realised I Was Conned

Khanna is the Deputy Territory Manager at the Karkardooma branch in Delhi. I have a policy of endowment (traditional plan) with that branch. Both of them told me they can get me more returns and because I am their customer since four-five years, they would shift me to ULIP from traditional, a market-driven policy.

They had categorically stated that this will be a transfer of funds and that the policy is never surrendered.

Soon after in October, I received around Rs 29,000. After checking thoroughly, I realised it was less than half the amount of the two premiums.

Following this, I had called up Khanna, who had said they will check their online portal and visit my place the next morning. Even then he insisted over call that only a “transfer of funds” had taken place.

They called the plan '13th Month Persistency.’ They also told me that they can keep one extra premium. However, according to IRDA's rule, one’s premium amount cannot be kept after 45 days in advance.

One Employee Terminated, One Remains Employed

After realising how their modus operandi worked, I had also spoken to the branch’s STM Gagan Bajpai, who confirmed to me that I have been cheated and some action must be taken. Thereafter, I filed an FIR with the police in Indirapuram.

The Quint tried reaching out to Gagan Bajapi but he refused to comment on the issue.

Copy of the FIR I filed in Indirapuram.
Copy of the FIR I filed in Indirapuram.
Copy of the FIR I filed in Indirapuram.
Copy of the FIR I filed in Indirapuram.

Accountability in Companies, Awareness Among Public Needed

The problem here isn’t just the fact that I found myself in the middle of this mess, but also that this could have happened to anybody else. When I talk to people, they tell me how rampant this is, and that “ye toh chalta rehta hai,” but this “chalta hai” attitude has to stop.

Here are some of the things you must keep in mind while considering any policy:

1. They replaced one digit of my phone number and one digit from my email ID so the mails from the company did not reach me. The first page of the policy document also includes the name, number and code of the agent who gives you the policy but this was not mentioned in my document.

First page of the policy document.
First page of the policy document.

2. If you see something wrong with your policy, please report it to your branch. Go to your branch, call them and visit them. Because there’s a pandemic, conmen take advantage of the fact that people would prefer staying at home.

3. Record all the calls you make to the company. If anyone visits your home and offers you a policy, ask them in written or on mail. Then double check check with the customer care or company officials.

As for my case, the investigation is currently underway, and I am determined to take back the remaining one and half lakh rupees that the company owes me. But my purpose of reporting this story is for it to reach people who can be deeply affected by such a fraud, lest it happens to anybody, so, “savdhaan rahe, satark rahe,” — be alert!

The Quint will add PNB MetLife Insurance’s response once it is received.

Also Read: UK Court Rejects Nirav Modi’s Bail in PNB Fraud Case for 7th Time

(All ‘My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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