Indian gangs ‘fake’ people to claim life insurance payouts, report says

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  • Indian gangs have made fraudulent insurance claims by “murdering” people.

  • A scammer invented an imaginary brother to buy life insurance, Bloomberg reported.

  • He paid $192 for a $32,000 policy, nearly 12 times what a typical worker earns in two years.

Indian scammers are “dummy killers” to claim life insurance payouts, Bloomberg reported.

Husbands and wives told insurers that their living spouses had died and siblings were imaginary siblings. According to the report, the scammers were rarely linked to the person believed to be deceased.

India is home to countless scams, but Amina Parbin told Bloomberg she never imagined someone would come to her house to tell her she was dead when she was very much alive.

Parbin, who lives in a small town in the state of Assam, recalled the time a life insurance investigator visited her and produced documents including her “death certificate”.

After her family persuaded her that the certificate was a fraud, they learned that a claim had been filed by her ex-husband for a life insurance policy she was unaware of.

In the United States, scammers pocketed an estimated $30 billion last year. According to a report by Truecaller, nearly 60 million Americans fell victim to a phone scam in the same year. The total cost of non-medical insurance fraud is estimated at some $40 billion a year, according to the FBI.

Indian scammers have been able to make thousands of dollars by claiming people are dead. Ismail Hussain, advised by a friend to create an imaginary sibling, forged birth certificates and bribed the local high school principal to issue a fake diploma.

Hussain paid $192 for a $32,000 policy he claimed in 2017. He “killed” his non-existent brother five years after creating him.

His friend, Manik Ali, told Bloomberg that he had the idea for the insurance fraud while working as a claims investigator.

When Hussain claimed the life insurance policy, he received more than 12 times the salary of a typical worker in two years. In India, the national minimum wage is around $2.25 a day, or $62 a month.

Parbin divorced her husband after discovering he was trying to use her fake death to claim a life insurance policy. The elders of the village where she lives ordered her to apologize and pay her $2,600.

In February, several India-based call centers and their managers were indicted for defrauding Americans over the phone, telling them their social security numbers were involved in crimes and that they owed money for taxes.

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