Your Questions Answered: What precautions should I take for protection against insurance SMS fraud? | Mint
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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  Your Questions Answered: What precautions should I take for protection against insurance SMS fraud?

Your Questions Answered: What precautions should I take for protection against insurance SMS fraud?

To protect yourself from insurance-related SMS fraud, verify the sender of text messages, avoid clicking unsolicited links or sharing personal information, and contact your insurer to confirm message authenticity.

It's crucial to verify message authenticity before clicking any links.Premium
It's crucial to verify message authenticity before clicking any links.

Q. I am a 50-year-old retiree. A few years back, I experienced a situation where my personal data was exposed after I accidentally clicked on a malicious text message that falsely claimed to be related to the renewal of my life insurance. Now I'm cautious about opening any text messages. What precautions can I take to protect myself from these SMS fraud attempts related to insurance?

I'm sorry to hear about your previous encounter with SMS fraud. And it’s judicious that you are seeking the right kind of advice so that you are never faced with any such instance again. I understand that a lot of our customers often rely on text messages from insurers to remind them of their renewal payments, hence it is critical that you are certain about the authenticity of these messages before you click on any link.

I strongly recommend that you verify the sender of the text message, ensuring it matches the official contact details of your insurance provider. Avoid clicking on any links or downloading attachments from unsolicited messages, as these might turn out to be malicious. Refrain from sharing sensitive personal or financial information via SMS, as legitimate insurance companies won't request such details through text messages. Be sceptical of unexpected text messages related to insurance and contact your insurer directly to validate the message's authenticity.

Additionally, consider installing mobile security software (Antivirus) to identify and block suspicious messages, and keep your smartphone's operating system and apps up to date. These measures will significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to SMS fraud attempts and help protect your personal data.

Q. As a 28-year-old professional, I purchased a life insurance plan for myself last year and I often receive emails for insurance matters. What steps should I take to verify the authenticity of communications from my insurer?

In our increasingly digital world, where brands are constantly communicating and trying to remain connected through various online channels, it's essential to remain vigilant. I'm glad to see your awareness and your proactive approach in identifying the cyber security threats even a simple email could pose and that is a laudable step to ensure safety from scams and frauds.

You might receive a barrage of emails every day from various brands but when it comes to important and relevant communication, it is essential that you are prudent because it is always better to be safe than sorry. Start by scrutinising the sender's email address and ensure it aligns with your insurer's official domain (address for any web server available on the Internet). Visual cues are highly effective in distinguishing between counterfeit and genuine. So, pay attention to visual elements, such as the company's logo and fonts in the email. Authentic messages also often include personalised information related to your policy.

It goes without saying that you should refrain from clicking on dubious links or downloading attachments. Instead, I strongly recommend taking a few extra minutes to directly visit your insurer's official website. In case of doubts, reach out to their customer support through official channels. Phishing emails frequently employ aggressive or urgent language to pressure recipients into immediate action. 

However, it's imperative not to succumb to such tactics. Instead, exercise due diligence and keep an eye out for spelling and grammar errors. As an informed consumer, continue to stay well-informed, conduct research, and exercise caution to safeguard yourself from fraudulent attempts.

Goutam Datta, Chief Information and Digital Officer, Bajaj Allianz Life

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Published: 31 Oct 2023, 12:41 PM IST
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