So, how can you protect yourself from becoming a victim of this type of crime? Here are a few tips:
BUY INSURANCE FROM A REPUTABLE COMPANY
This is probably the best way to avoid fraudsters. You can find out if the company is legitimate by checking with the FSB to see if the company is properly registered.
DEAL WITH THE RIGHT PERSON
Fraudsters sometimes pretend to be employed by known insurance providers.
Baker says: “If you are in doubt, you can find out about the person selling you the insurance and confirm if they are registered with the company they claim to be representing by contacting the FSB or the insurance company directly.
“You would need to have the person’s full name and ID number to conduct this search.”
If the alleged insurer does not want to give you that information, it’s best to walk away and not do any business with them.
UNDERSTAND THE PAPERWORK
Don’t let anyone pull the wool over your eyes.
Visser says: “Ask to see the policy information that the financial service provider is obliged to disclose. Do not agree to anything that is not understood – a reputable insurer has to be transparent and provide all the relevant details.”
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Make sure you understand who’s behind the deal.
Baker says: “Sometimes the people selling insurance policies are not employed directly by the insurance company. Make sure that you know exactly which insurance company is carrying the risk on your policy and paying the claims.
“It’s critical for you to understand the entire policy, otherwise your family members could run into trouble at claims stage.”
DON’T PAY CASH
Start a debit order rather than handing over cash to people offering you funeral cover.
“When going with a direct financial services provider, premiums will usually be collected via debit order and all interactions are recorded – and you’ll have access to them for future reference,” says Baker.
“It’s also important not to pay over any money until you have an official policy document.”
Once you have chosen a legitimate funeral insurance provider, let your family and loved ones know that they will be cared for should anything happen to you, and let them know where the documents are should anything happen.
To find out if a company or person is allowed to sell you funeral cover, call the FSB on 080 020 2087.