Secret Life Insurance Policy: Phone Scam Overview
Nothing is more difficult than losing a loved one. Not only is there the emotional pain of loss, but there may also be financial loose ends that need to be tied up. There may even be financial troubles as the cost of funerals and medical bills can be very burdensome.
Sadly, there are many who have chosen to take advantage of the personal and financial pain that happens when there is a loss. Scammers will target those who are grieving by claiming that their deceased loved one took out a life insurance policy. All that is needed to collect is one final premium payment.
How Does the Secret Life Insurance Policy Scam Work?
This scam like many phone scams primarily targets the elderly. Like the lottery phone scam, these callers choose to victimize elderly couples, and those who have dementia are especially vulnerable.
There are two variations of this scam:
The family of a recently deceased person will receive a call from someone claiming to be from the deceased’s life insurance company. They’ll state that the deceased secretly took out a life insurance policy and to collect the family needs to pay the last premium.
The caller explains that premium will be a fraction of what the payout will be from the policy. Similar to the lottery scam where once the taxes are paid the winnings will be received, once the “last premium” is paid the caller will disappear with the money. The family of the deceased will have been robbed.
You will receive a call stating that you can lower your current life insurance premium or that you can purchase a life insurance policy for cheap. This variation of the scam doesn’t target a grieving family, but instead those worried about taking care of their families if something should ever happen to them.
The caller will promise an excellent policy for a very low premium. Once they have you sold on the idea of taking care of your loved ones, they’ll collect personal and financial information such as a credit card number or a bank account. In some cases they may even ask that you pay your first premium immediately via wire transfer to lock in the low price.
How Can You Avoid Life Insurance Scams?
This is one of the more sick types of phone fraud out there and it’s not as common as IRS scams and free vacation ploys. Nevertheless, this scam is still a threat to people.
To protect yourself do the following:
- Don’t trust unsolicited callers. If someone calls claiming that a loved one took out a secret life insurance policy or that you can lower your current life insurance premium, hang up.
- Do your research. If you’re interested in getting a life insurance policy look into which companies offer the best coverage and go directly to them to see what type of policy you are eligible for.
- Check unknown phone numbers. Lookup numbers that aren’t familiar to you using a caller ID app. It’s likely that others are being targeted by the same scam and you can check for suspicious behavior on it.
How to Report This Scam
If you’ve been contacted by a scammer posing as an insurance agent report the incidence to the Federal Trade Commission. Also warn others by leaving your feedback on the phone number that contacted you in our free phone trace app for iPhone.
If you don’t have an iPhone, you can still look for suspicious behavior on numbers and leave your feedback on any scam calls you receive using our free reverse phone book.