Ashwath Bhatt, who has been staying at his parents’ place in Indirapuram for the last few months, was duped of over Rs 1 lakh in an insurance policy fraud. The actor says that he was approached by the two employees from the insurance company, Kakardooma branch, who sold a new policy on the fake pretext that the funds from his original policy will be transferred, but instead surrendered his original policy without his knowledge. Ashwath says that they even used his wrong email address and phone number on the documents so that the company could not reach him and confirm any change in the policy. Ashwath has already reported the case to the company, who agreed that the fraud has been committed, and he also registered an FIR (for fraud by two company employees) at Indirapuram police station.
“I am shocked at the turn of events. I got to know that I have been conned after I showed my policy documents to a friend, who asked me to do so after I told him that I was offered a new plan and transfer of funds. If he wouldn’t have told me, I would not have even known that I have been cheated,” says Ashwath.
He shares more details on how the two employees from the company approached him and offered him a new “more beneficial plan”. He says, “I duly checked that the two people who approached me were the employees of the company and not agents. They said that they had a better plan to offer on my policy. They kept telling me that they will send me the receipt of Rs 1 lakh, which is kept as advance premium for next year, which I later realised is a lie. They surrendered my policy without my permission and told me that it is a transfer of funds. When I called the customer care number, I got to know that my email address and phone number were wrongly mentioned in the company’s record so that the company could not reach me to confirm any change. After I got to know of the fraud and approached the company, I was also told that one of the employees who approached me had sought leaves from duty saying that she was suffering from COVID-19. Both of their phones are now switched off, I have been sending them messages, but there has been no response.”
The actor adds that he felt that he should share his experience with others so that people are warned about such frauds and so that they are extremely careful when someone approaches them, even if they are the employees of a financial institution.
“We all should call customer care immediately and inquire if what we are being offered is possible or not and also check if our contact details are accurate. This is alarming that some people think they can do such a fraud with other people’s hard-earned money and can get away with it easily. Thankfully, I have audio recordings of all our phone conversations and authorities are probing this. One of those employees has been terminated. I would insist that all of us should have written, audio, video recordings of such interactions. If someone says they are employees of a company, check their identity cards and click pictures. I am pursuing this case and I will try to ensure that these people do not commit fraud with other people’s money. But we all need to be extremely careful,” says Ashwath.