LIFE INSURANCE SCAMS: How to Spot & Avoid Them

life insurance scam
Image by Drazen Zigic on freepik

We all want to avoid falling victim to an insurance scam. But in reality the first step is that we must all be on the lookout for fraudulent calls and other illegal conduct. But how can one safeguard themselves, and what life insurance scams should one be aware of? Here is all you should know.

What is a Life Insurance Scam?

A life insurance scam is deceiving people into thinking they are purchasing insurance coverage or receiving proceeds from a reputable company when they are not. Instead, the sellers aim to steal your money, personal data, or both. They disappear into thin air once you pay them, leaving you with fictitious life insurance coverage and less money in your pocket.

Unbelievably, life insurance fraud occurs increasingly frequently. The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimated that it would be $74.7 billion in the United States in 2020.

Types of Life Insurance Frauds

Here are a few typical life insurance frauds:

#1. Phishing

The first step in this fraud is for a con artist to send an email purporting to be from an actual insurance firm or broker. The email promises payment, but only if you click a link and fill out a form with your data. You are then duped using that information and never receive an insurance payout. Although it’s frequently associated with life insurance, other scammers also employ this tactic.

#2. Identity Theft

These types of scams entail making use of your identity to commit fraud. These scams could start with a call inquiring if you or anyone you know has recently passed away, followed by a request for your Social Security number to “expedite payment” from the deceased’s life insurance policy. Alternatively, the caller can assert that your personal information is needed to address a problem with your life insurance policy. They might even claim that you have unpaid life insurance premiums and that they need your credit card details to complete the payment.

#3. Fraudulent Beneficiary Changes

In this scam, a con artist impersonates you fraudulently on a policy to change it—like adding themselves as the beneficiary—without your knowledge.

Fraudulent beneficiary additions: This is a variant of beneficiary fraud in which the policyholder—typically an elderly relative who is not competent—is duped into adding them as a beneficiary.

#4. Missing Details

This situation arises at the insured’s end rather than the insurer’s. When incorrect data is entered into the application, this occurs. This is sometimes referred to as falsifying information or hiding facts. This is one of the most prevalent scams.

You must complete a form with your basic information before purchasing a life insurance policy. Your medical knowledge may be involved. In this instance, lying about relevant information or providing false information is considered fraud.

For instance, keep a medical issue from others a secret. Another example would be keeping your smoking status a secret while you do. Have medical examinations to serve these fraud companies. The policy is promptly revoked if the data doesn’t match the medical records.

Contact the insurance company if you have an issue or believe you have been taken advantage of. If you don’t hear back, get in touch with the IRDAI grievance cell right away.

How to Protect Yourself from Life Insurance Scam 

Tips to stay away from life insurance scam

These are some strategies and pointers to prevent falling victim to a life insurance scam.

#1.  Examine the Life Insurance Agent’s or Company’s Standing and Ratings

To examine the standing and ratings of an agency or business:

If a company whose name you are unfamiliar with is providing coverage for you, thoroughly research the company. At the very least, look them up online. Other people may have previously encountered scams with fake insurance. Look for the company’s name together with the terms “scam,” “complaint,” and “fraud” online. Make sure the business has a physical address and contactable customer service by conducting independent research. Next, use the information you independently collected to contact the company and ask about the claims and offers you came across.

Consult a financial advisor. Your financial advisor can tell you whether a business or representative is reputable.

  • Research guidelines: Research other policies before accepting a policy quotation or believing claims of generous coverage. You can either engage with a licensed broker who will do the work for you or get quotations on your own.
  • Understand how insurance is paid for: Avoid paying an insurance agent for a policy, as some con artists may ask. Instead, understand that you must pay the insurance provider directly to obtain life insurance coverage.

#2. Apply Caution when Handling Personal Data

You can lower your chances of falling victim to a scam by taking great care with your personal information to prevent identity theft. Here’s how to handle your personal information carefully:

Don’t give out vital information over the phone. This includes information from an unsolicited call, such as your bank account details or Social Security number.

When sharing private information on social media, exercise caution. When sharing information about your identity or finances online or through apps, err on caution. Con artists can use this information to gain additional insight into your identity and customise their scams to target your weaknesses.

Refrain from answering unwanted messages. Make it your default to disregard any phone number, email address, or other identifying information you are unsure of.

#3. Never Sign Unclear or Unfinished Paperwork

Obtain written information about the coverage, premiums, exclusions, rider information, and policy renewal. Policy documents without this information are incomplete and a hoax at worst.

If something seems confusing, trust your instinct and don’t sign it; instead, ask questions and urge for more facts. Walking away is always a choice, and protecting oneself from a dangerous scam is well worth it.

#4. Get Multiple Quotes Before Choosing a Selection

Before agreeing to a life insurance policy, seek estimates from numerous reputable providers. Doing so lets you compare coverage options, costs and perks. That way, you’ll make an informed selection corresponding to your financial goals and your family’s needs.

Signs that You’re About to be a Life Insurance Scam Victim

Life insurance scam comes in various forms, but there are some common characteristics to watch out for. Below, we discuss seven typical red flags of life insurance fraud.

#1. An Overly Intense Feeling of Urgency

Life insurance scammers frequently use a strong sense of urgency to get victims to act before they can think about what they are signing. These demands take advantage of the situation’s urgency to surprise you at a vulnerable moment, such as when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one and worrying about how your family will make ends meet.

The employment of aggressive rhetoric, such as asserting that the offer is time-limited and about to expire, is one technique that may be used. By inducing a sense of urgency and stress, con artists aim to subdue critical thinking and prevent you from identifying the warning signs they are raising.

#2. Demanding Money Right Now

Scammers pretending to provide life insurance usually ask for immediate payment for their offer and an instant decision.

If someone is pressuring you to acquire insurance right now, remember that it is pretty challenging to make such a purchase, particularly over the phone. Typically, obtaining life insurance requires filling out an application and occasionally undergoing a medical examination; this cannot be done over the phone.

#3. Cold Calls and Unsolicited Offers

Regarding life insurance, steer clear of cold calls and unsolicited offers. For instance, you might get a call out of the blue offering a fantastic deal on life insurance. The caller may even possess some of your personal information and incorporate it into their pitch to give the impression that they are credible or to obtain additional personal information, such as passwords or PINs for your bank accounts.

Similarly, con artists may text you under the guise of a life insurance provider. Frequently, a text link will take you to a website that requests that you open a file, enter a password, or enter your bank or credit card information. Typically, these con games only aim to steal your data and perpetrate identity theft.

#4. Offers that Appear Excessively Favorable

An offer is most likely fraudulent if it seems too good to be true. There are undoubtedly good offers on the best life insurance available, but watch out for enticing sales pitches for policies from people you do not know and do not ask for help.

According to experts, what is an offer that seems too good to be true? The National Association of Insurance Commissioners states it’s most likely a scam if the quoted premiums are more than 15% to 20% less than the competitors.

#5. Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

Emails and texts containing text can contain revealing indicators of fraud. Legitimate insurers and other bona fide financial institutions carefully market their products professionally. Typos or grammatical faults are warning flags of a bogus message or website.

#6. Absence of Detail on Policy Exclusions and Limits

It’s a caution flag if the person or the documentation is not forthright regarding the terms of coverage. Reputable insurance providers are always transparent about what is and isn’t covered because they might be held liable for covering exclusions if they did not explicitly disclose them beforehand.

#7. Fake life Insurance Firms and Agents

Some scammers go as far as to construct bogus insurance businesses and then give you a worthless policy written by these fictitious insurers. Even when the company is legal, the agent approaching you may be a fraudster. Warning indications of this scam are agents offering cheap social media plans who won’t get on the phone with you. Instead, they insist on exclusively using email or messaging applications and don’t release any direct communications or paperwork related to the actual insurance firm.

Ways to Avoid Life Insurance Scam

While it’s not always easy to tell a good agent from a bad one, there are steps that consumers can take to stay safe. Here are some pointers to aid in your search for the ideal life insurance plan to safeguard your loved ones.

#1. Think About Your Broker

The popularity of independent brokers has grown, mainly since the Internet made it simple to sign up and receive recommendations. An independent broker compares rates from several insurance companies to find the best deal for a client.

#2. Examine the Agent

Before you sign any paperwork, you can use the Internet to research an agent. The website of the Department of Insurance for the state where the agent works is one place to look. This will frequently assist in swiftly locating any previous issues. Verify that the agent’s license is still active and that there haven’t been any recorded sanctions—ideally for a long time.

#3. Examine the Organization

An agent’s affiliation with a reputable agency does not ensure dependability. You can confirm an agency’s credibility by reading reviews and discovering more about it.

#4. Speak with the Agency

Never be afraid to get confirmation of what you’re hearing from the agent’s insurance company if you’re dealing with them directly. You can proceed with greater assurance if the agency is well-known and can attest to the agent’s integrity.

#5. Request Referrals

Finding a reliable agent can be significantly aided by the support of friends and family. They will be able to confirm that their interactions with agents have been positive thus far because they will have previously had firsthand experience with them.

#6. Compare Prices

Fortunately, there is no shortage of agents prepared to provide a quote because life insurance is a buyer’s market. Comparing the costs of several life insurance policies is one of the best ways to understand the different alternatives. You can quickly spot scammers when you compare what you’re being offered. It may indicate that something is wrong if someone offers substantially more for the same price, if not less, than other insurers.

#7. Examine the fine print

Examine all paperwork thoroughly before signing with an insurer, making note of any terms that could cause issues down the road. Verify the coverage you receive for your premiums in the policy documents.

#8. Benefit from Cancellation Periods

There is usually a free look period on policies. If, during this period, you discover for any reason that the policy isn’t what you had anticipated, you can cancel it. If you cancel during this period, a complete refund of premiums should be sent. Do additional research during this trial period to ensure you haven’t made any mistakes. Should something cause you discomfort, please cancel.

#9. Changes in Question

Even once your insurance policy is in place, you should remain watchful, mainly if your agent advises making a significant adjustment to your coverage out of the blue. Seek a second opinion from a reputable life insurance agent if your representative suggests something to raise your annual premium.

#10. Take Care When Sharing Information

Talk to your agent or your life insurance company about any calls, emails, or other correspondence you get concerning your coverage. Provide only payment details, contact information, and your social security number to someone you are very positive is a reputable representative of the service you employ.

Is Selling Life Insurance a Pyramid Scheme?

As a whole, life insurance is not a pyramid scheme. Even though Primerica is a multi-level marketing organisation, many people mistake it for a pyramid scheme.

What is the Major Problem with Life Insurance?

Cost is the main drawback of life insurance, even though it’s not as expensive as you may imagine.

Who Commits Most Insurance Frauds?

To receive benefits to which they are not entitled, applicants, policyholders, and third-party claimants may engage in insurance fraud throughout a transaction. Scams involving insurance can happen anywhere, but they are most common in the healthcare, workers’ compensation, and vehicle insurance sectors.

Why is life insurance not a good investment?

You can invest with any permanent life insurance policy with cash value, but this isn’t the most excellent option for most people because of the high expenses and poor returns. Purchasing a term life policy and contributing to an IRA or 401(k) is frequently a wiser action.

Is Life Insurance a Scheme?

Although life insurance is not a fraud, not everyone is a good fit for these products, and paying premiums each month isn’t always a significant benefit.


Scams involving life insurance are all too common, but you may prevent them by exercising caution. If an agent demands money immediately, or if an offer seems too good to be true, be sceptical of high-pressure sales methods.

It’s always worthwhile to take your time to investigate a business, confirm the legitimacy of an agent, and carefully read and comprehend an offer before accepting it. This will significantly contribute to your safety.

Lastly, do not rush things. Avoid getting insurance quickly, mainly if the offer was made primarily via phone, email, or an app. Even if the representative brushes off your efforts to get coverage, that in and of itself may raise suspicions that you are not working with a reputable vendor.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like