The operation of the gang, headed by a Delhi University graduate, came to light after police arrested its kingpin Mohammed Adil, who allegedly cheated people using forged documents and working the Internet. According to police, Adil, who had worked with a leading insurance company and knew the tricks of the trade, used to contact potential customers on phone.
If the unwary customer accepts his offer, then the gang would convince him to give them their old policies on one pretext or the other. Then they would alter the details in the old insurance policies using a computer software and would give it back to the customer as the new policy after taking premium.
"The gang would take the soft copy of their old insurance policies and using an elaborate system of printers, scanners and a special editing and a file conversion software known as 'Foxit', they used to edit a client's old policy and mail it back to him as the new policy," says Sushil Sanwariya, investigating officer of Vasant Vihar Police Station.
Adil and his gang exploited people's lack of knowledge of what is the difference between a Cover Note, a proposal form and soft copy (PDF document) while getting an insurance done. People think the soft copy sent through email is proof of insurance but actually it is the 'Cover Note' an insurance company issues which is the real proof of insurance. In this case, companies never issued a 'Cover Note' because the money never reached them, the official said.
"Cover Note is the document on which you can get your claim from the company. Not many people are aware of this fact and think that the receipt of the form - Proposal Form - they had got from their agent and the soft copy they have received from the company is enough, but that is not the case. Even if your policy is not fake, the soft copy you get from the company is valid only for 60 days. One should always insist on getting a Cover Note," said Sanwariya.
Adil has registered a fake insurance company by the name of ASA Insurance limited on an online service company from where he used to get the contact numbers of his potential targets, police said.
The online service company does not verify whether the company it registers is genuine or fake. The gang then used this to their advantage, police said. Adil landed in police net after a complaint was lodged by one Vikas Tushir who said that the second policy he got done from Adil is the identical copy of his previous one.
According to the police, Adil does not even remember how many 'clients' his gang had duped so far. It is estimated to be more than 100.
Even after reports of the fraud have emerged, the gang of cheats is still operating over phone trying to dupe customers.
Police are on the look out for the other members of the gang.