Citizens' Issues
Caveat emptor: Information on a few pyramid schemes

Check this out before your cheque is in

A blog at providing yeoman public service by listing the hundreds of Ponzi and pyramid schemes as well as every trick in the trade that they use to dupe people every year. The blog, with archives going back to 2007, also lists the action initiated against many of them. Here is a small list of examples:

UniPay2U: A popular scheme, is unable to make payments any more after its accounts were frozen by a Court order. Moneylife had written about it—“Pyramid Schemes—Novel Pitch”—in the 9 September 2010 issue.

Aryarup Tourism and Club Resorts: It had its accounts frozen by the Mumbai Economic Offences Wing on 10 November 2010.

Way 2 Life: Its office is shut, its promoters untraceable and the website down.  
Red Carpet Entertainment: It has changed its website and company name. Payouts have been blocked.

Fine India: See Moneylife Cover Story, “Money Chain”, on a fraud investigated in Orissa. Its accounts have been frozen by the police.

Ram Survey:
A clone of Speak Asia; lures people big time.
Paazee: It had raised Rs211 crore. It was raided by the Tamil Nadu police and its directors arrested on 6 October 2010.  

BK Jewellers: This was a scam amounting to Rs128 crore.
It was shut down by the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police. 




6 years ago

Good work . all the crooks must be arrested and jailed.

Does your insurance policy cover loss due to terror attacks?

The terror attack in Mumbai heightens the need for personal accident policy to cover losses due to terrorism, as the government compensation may be too small to make up for the loss of wages due to disability or death of a breadwinner

The terrorist attack in Mumbai on Wednesday claimed the lives of at least 21 people and injured more than 130 people. While nothing can replace loss of a near and dear one, the families of the victims will have to put the pieces together and move on.

But how does a family cope up with the loss of wages due to disability or death of the breadwinner? On Thursday, prime minister Manmohan Singh announced an ex-gratia assistance of Rs2 lakh to the families of each of the deceased and Rs1 lakh each for the seriously injured. The Maharashtra government has also announced a compensation of Rs 5lakh to the families of those killed and Rs50,000 to those injured in the triple bomb blasts. However, it may be worth considering the option of buying insurance to cover losses due to such terror attacks.

On the life insurance platform, insurers pay the sum assured for basic life insurance in case of death due to reasons other than suicide, in the first year. This means that a life insurance policy will pay in case of death due to terrorism. Additional riders, like personal accident (PA) rider, which usually pay double the sum assured, will not cover acts of terrorism in most cases. Major surgical benefit, too, may not be paid if a policyholder undergoes surgeries arising out of a terror attack.

The PA policy is a standalone product from non-life insurers. They exclude disability or death arising out of war or acts of terrorism. A few insurers like ICICI Lombard and Bajaj Allianz General allow terrorism cover with personal accident policies which is a good feature. Group PA policies can be tailor-made to allow terrorism cover.

Mediclaim offered by non-life insurers will cover hospitalisation expenses (minimum of 24 hours) caused by illness or accident. It could be by a terrorist attack or for any other reason. But only medical expenses are covered and there is no death benefit.

According to Dr Amarnath Ananthanarayanan, managing director and chief executive officer, Bharti AXA General Insurance, "Following the September 2001  terrorist attack in New York, the Indian insurance industry had formed an insurance pool to provide cover against terrorism risk, but it was restricted to cover only property damage. Its utility was proven in November 2008 when two hotels in Mumbai, among other targets, became victims of a terrorist attack. The pool paid a loss of around Rs400 crore to the affected parties."

He pointed out, "It has been suggested that personal accident policies are included in the terrorism pool. This would facilitate the insurance industry to respond to terrorism events by immediately releasing on-account or even ex-gratia payments to the affected individuals, and indeed provide the much-needed service that is expected from the insurance industry. A fund can be created and combined with the terrorism pool for the benefit of victims of terrorism. Funding for this can come from contributions from state and central governments, tax exemptions and insurance companies.

The other thing that can help the insurance industry provide succour in event of such tragedies would be for insurance companies to be allowed to create disaster-reserves which are exempt from income-tax. And to provide higher benefits to the end customer, the government can look at waiver of service tax on the premium linked to terrorism cover."


Tata Consultancy Services Q1 net profit rises 28% at Rs2,380 crore

Sequentially the profit has declined as the company had posted Rs2,623 crore profit in the last quarter of the previous fiscal

MUMBAI: Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the country's largest software services provider on Thursday posted a 26.7% rise in its net profit at Rs2,415 crore for the first quarter of FY11-12, reports PTI.

The revenue grew by 31.4% to Rs10,797 crore for the period under review, TCS said in a statement.

However, sequentially the profit has declined as the company had posted Rs2,623 crore profit in the last quarter of the previous fiscal.

"Our customer-focused organisation and balanced business model helped us drive growth across all our major customers segments and operating regions in the first quarter," TCS CEO N Chandrasekaran said here.

The board has proposed a dividend of Rs3 a piece on shares of the face value of Re1.

"Tough we continue to see a steady demand for our services, the uncertain global macro economic environment demands that we adopt an entrepreneurial approach and remain agile to capture the growth opportunities as they emerge," Mr Chandrasekaran added.

During the June quarter, the software exporter added 3,576, taking the total headcount to 2,02,190 as on 30th June. The company during the quarter added 24 new clients.

The stock ended at Rs1,119.20 on the National Stock Exchange, down 2.60% from its previous close.


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