After trying out every trick in the book, insurance agents are now coming up with misleading domain names that mimic LIC’s official website
Insurance agents are trying to typo-squat to garner business. Typo-squatting is a form of cyber-squatting which relies on typographical errors made by Internet users when they try to key in a website address on a browser. If you accidentally enter an incorrect website address, you may be led to an alternative website owned by the typo-squatter.
A few sites run by agents are openly trying to imitate the official website of the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India, (http://www.licindia.in).
All these sites appear to be like the official website of LIC-some of them even have the insurer's logo in place. Here are just a few of them:
"These sites look like the official LIC website, but they are run by LIC agents who are openly using the company's logo and giving out mobile numbers. They are not revealing the name and address of the owners of these websites," an insurance expert told Moneylife.
Most of these sites carry an LIC logo on their URLs, making potential consumers believe that they are accessing the official site of the State-run insurer. This activity is being followed by a number of unscrupulous operators across the globe.
For example, it is quite possible for any potential customer searching for the official or the authentic LIC website to stumble across any of the 'typo-squatted' websites detailed above.
"Tomorrow someone may create a website like www.licpayment.com and collect online premium payment on LIC's behalf and cheat thousands of policyholders," the insurance expert added. Such portals make it easier for agents to garner money from gullible investors to buy insurance from the company.
An industry source tells us that in order for an insurance agent to put up his website using the company's name, he needs approval from the company.
We tried getting in touch with top LIC officials and sent them emails for their response on this issue. Among those contacted were Rajesh Kandwal (executive director), HSB Sinha (secretary-marketing), RR Nair (director and chief executive officer), DK Mehrotra (managing director) and
TS Vijayan (chairman). None of them have responded so far.
However, an official from LIC told Moneylife, preferring anonymity, "We don't authorise anyone to start a website using LIC's name." However, what we are really interested in knowing is, what exactly does LIC plan to do about it?
The short-term uptrend will possibly continue till 17,300 when the first test of this up-move happens
The market was in the positive zone for the entire trading session on strong US housing data and Indian services sector data for May 2010. The Sensex ended at 17,022, up 280 points (1.6%) while the Nifty closed at 5,110, up 90 points (1.8%). The bourses started with a sharp rise taking cues from their Asian counterparts. The indices traded in a narrow range for most of the day and ended the session with modest gains.
Asian stock markets were up on Thursday, following a rally on Wall Street as the Dow surged more than 200 points overnight. Key benchmark indices in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan rose by1.62% to 3.24%. However, China's Shanghai Composite was down 0.73%.
US stocks were up on Wednesday as investors picked up stocks at bargain prices, led by energy stocks. The Dow gained 225 points (2.2%) to 10,249. The S&P 500 was up 27 points (2.5%) to 1,098. The Nasdaq climbed 59 points (2.6%) to 2,281.
The Bank of Japan has asked the government to fix the fiscal deficit as public debt has been twice the size of Japan's gross domestic product (GDP). Although Japan's economy grew 1.2% in the first quarter of this year, the central bank expressed its concern over the long-term economic growth prospects of the nation due to the slowdown in the eurozone.
Closer home, the food price index rose to 16.55% in the year to 22nd May, higher than the previous week's annual reading of 16.23%, following a rise in vegetable prices. The fuel price index climbed 14.14%, compared with an annual rise of 12.08% in the previous week due to higher prices of electricity. The wholesale price index stood at 9.59% in April after hitting 10.6% in February.
The government said that it is not time for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to intervene in the currency market after the rupee was down 4.3% against the dollar in May. The rupee strengthened today, buoyed by gains in the equity market and the dollar trading lower against other major currencies.
Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) were net sellers, offloading stocks worth Rs166 crore. Domestic institutional investors bought stocks worth Rs165 crore.
Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL) (up 1.8%) has acquired the entire equity stake in Argentina-based hair-care firm Argencos S A, its second acquisition in Latin America in less than two weeks. In May 2010, Godrej had acquired the Issue Group, a market leader in the Latin American hair-colour market.
Amtek Auto (up 1.4%) intends to buy additional 2.52 crore shares, or 20% equity, in group firm Amtek India at Rs68 per share in an open offer. The offer will open on 23 July 2010 and will close on 11 August 2010. Essar Capital Finance (an unlisted firm) has made an offer to buy additional 28 lakh shares, or 20% equity stake, in AGC Networks (formerly known as Avaya GlobalConnect) at Rs274 a share. The offer will open on 16th July and will close on 4th August.
Reliance Industries (up 1.9%) is reportedly looking at partnering with major cell-phone handset makers to help them produce low-cost 3G handsets apart from wireless broadband application devices. NTPC (up 2%) is reportedly set to acquire controlling interest in a 720-million-tonne coalfield in Australia in a deal valued at $1 billion-$1.5 billion, which will enable it to generate about 3,500 megawatts of power capacity. GMR Energy, a unit of GMR Infrastructure (up 0.8%), has reportedly raised Rs350 crore from the IDFC Group for a significant minority stake. The transaction is part of GMR Energy's plan to raise Rs1,600 crore through the equity route to meet its immediate requirements.
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