Funeral Cover Scam Targets the Elderly
August 9, 2015
Of course, greed is always the reason behind a financial crime, like this Funeral cover scam.
Criminals know that a large proportion of the older generation are well off. But so greedy are these criminals that they will stop at nothing to even target those who are vulnerable.
Insurance brokers without integrity are targeting elderly social grant beneficiaries using a funeral cover scam.
This funeral cover scam tactic is particularly rife in the Northern and Western Cape. And Rights organisation Black Sash claims this scam is far more widespread than what one would think.
How Uneducated people Fell for the Funeral cover Scam
Insurance brokers are selling so called funeral cover and are doing this under cover of SASSA. They chose an excellent organisation to ‘represent’.
That’s because the South African Social Security Agency administers the application and payment of social grants in South Africa. Innocent people do not know it is a funeral cover scam.
They target older people who work on farms and are not knowledgeable about the ins and outs of policies. Salesmen persuade them to take out additional life cover by agents of the 1Life company.
Some of them earn less than R1,500 a month. And apart from one funeral policy, this meagre wage must cover food and bills.
Elderly South African Social Security Agency beneficiaries have signed onto the policies. That’s because the agents persuade them that SASSA has approved the life cover. Most of these older people already had life cover but took additional cover.
One of them had Metropolitan policy but that the ‘SASSA Agent’ had told said the extra cover was a SASSA requirement. She heard that she was to make these cash payments every month at her nearest post office.
When these farm workers went to withdraw their SASSA money, it was to discover that the money had gone from their accounts. Black Sash arranged with them to cancel the policies. The money disappeared from their accounts for 4 months but after complaints, investigations and intervention from Black Sash, 1Life have put an end to these deductions, and they promised to refund the beneficiaries who were the victims of this funeral cover scam.
They Trust in what SASSA Represents
Many farm workers in the Cape have never been to school and they believe these so called agents who claim to be representing SASSA. Because of what SASSA represents, most poor people understand who they are. When they hear that SASSA is involved, they simply go with it because they think that it will lead to the right things. Meanwhile, it is a funeral cover scam.
The Black Sash Regional Manager said she intends to find out about the sales, policies and procedures of the insurance company. Rick Rupping, the brand manager from 1Life, stated that they were investigating the matter further and that they were working to ensure the money would get back.
What SASSA Says
A Western Cape SASSA spokesperson has confirmed that they have received many complaints about companies who offer unsuspecting people financial products under the pretence that it is SASSA endorsed. SASSA wanted to make sure that they are not linked to any company that offers financial products and don’t endorse products sold by such enterprises.
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All info was correct at time of publishing