November 12, 2014
Conmen in general are smooth operators who are able to talk you out of your money without any form of threat. Insurance is not spared from conmen. Insurance conmen are sophisticated, bright, and strategic in their approach. Insurance is a technical field. Not many people understand the inner workings of an industry. Therefore, anyone that takes the time to understand how motor insurance works can use that knowledge to con a large portion of the ignorant public. Here is how a car insurance conman works.
1. He will Profile you
Insurance conmen make their pick carefully. They look at the car you are driving, and may look at when your current insurance will expire. They will note your current car insurance provider and will find out the rates your car attracts in premiums. In other words, someone who intends to con you will take time to profile you in order to come up with a plan.
2. He will win your Confidence
The next step is winning your confidence. This is surprisingly easy for someone has taken time to think through it. All he needs to do it to present himself at your level or to find some other means of impressing you. He can claim to be the owner of an insurance agency, or to be a businessman who is a director in one of the insurance agencies in town. However, he doesn’t even have to pose as an insurance sales rep. He could remove himself totally from the insurance industry and just claim to have contacts there. And yes, he will have business cards, documents etc to prove that he is whoever else he claims to be.
3. He will Bait you
Then comes the bait. He will present you with an opportunity to get you a deal of your lifetime. It could be a limited edition insurance product, a special waiver because of his connection, or a special offer based on something like the celebration of a certain milestone (say 50th anniversary) in the insurance company. The bait usually works if you are desperate enough, or if you are completely taken by his confidence trick. Imagine what it is like for you to be interacting with an MD of a company that can bring you business, offer you a job, or connect you to a client you really want to land. Once you take the bait, the con is on.
4. He will Execute the Con
The actual con may be simple and straightforward such as asking you to send money somewhere (say on a mobile money platform), or to deposit it in some bank account. He could even offer to pay the premium for you and present you with receipts and ask you for a refund. If the receipts look good enough, many people will fall for the con. Once you have parted with your money, the con is over.
5. He will Exit
The exit stage of the insurance conman will be swift. It may be posh and calculated such as a claim that he is travelling out of the country for business or for holiday. It may also be plain and shocking, such as leaving to go to the gents, and never coming back, and the phone usually goes silent forever when the con is done. Many people come to the realization that they have been conned after the conman exits. It suddenly dawns on them that the business cards looked fake, that a name has been misspelt somewhere, and the office numbers listed on the card either does not go through, or is owned by a bakery in another town.
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