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Moneylife » Investing » Investor Interest » LIC insurance agents take to URL hijacking to mislead customers

LIC insurance agents take to URL hijacking to mislead customers

Aaron Rodrigues | 03/06/2010 06:52 PM | 

typo

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:

http://www.liclifeinsuranceindia.com

http://www.licagents.in

http://www.licindias.com 

http://www.licinindia.com

"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?

 


 


 


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5 Comments
G Swaminarayan

G Swaminarayan 4 years ago

very good investigative journalism.lic must file case against these websiteholder to remove such similar name website.
perceived threat like licpayment.com website is can really cheat not thousands but lacs of policyholder as now lot of people have started using internet bakning for premium payment.

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V R Kulkarni

V R Kulkarni 4 years ago

Dear Mr.Mayur,
you must thank moneylife for bold reporting.
I have visited many sites mentioned above and found that they are misleading.
I am really surprised that lic is no mood to take any action for copyright.

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MAYUR KULKARNI

MAYUR KULKARNI 4 years ago

I know about these & few more such websites since longback & but these websites specifically highlight that they are of LIC Agents or advisors / Development Officers

Notably There is nothing to prevent an advisor from advertising his name or launching his website nor there are any guidelines about the names of website.

Further to Most of LIC Agents & advisors are having local reach only so the utility of this websites is drastically reduced.

Further to it LIC do not sell any of its products online (unlike like few of its counterparts in Pvt Sector who are selling products online directly but everybody is keeping mum about them)

Nor any of the agent is having his own/personal private insurance company for which he will use or misuse the visitors data & goodwill of LIC. He will at the most sell LIC policy to the visitor.

So there is no need to create unnecessary hype /panic about such a website.

Till now i was thinking that Moneylife is an impartial & unbiased organization/ website.

Unfortunately it seems that it is not so, This seem to be a planted news with specific target to defame LIC / LIC agents.

In a country like india where 75% population is uninsured & almost 100% population is under-insured, the most important thing is need to reach such people & convince them to buy insurance.
It really does not matter if the policy is of LIC or any Pvt Company so far the likely Dealth-claims are being honoured & the Protection is being provided.

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yogesh

yogesh 4 years ago in reply to MAYUR KULKARNI

Mayur, thanks for your comments. Unfortunately, the purpose of highlighting the issue seems to have hit a wrong nerve. What Moneylife has been doing over the years is to protect unsuspecting investors, common man from falling prey to mis-selling. LIC agents are NOT authorised to use LIC name or logo on their domain name and website but still they are using one and pretending to be LIC themselves. This is shocking, as any layman who visits such sites will definitely think the website as LIC's site. Moreover, believe us, not many are as competent enough as you to know or understand a difference between LIC website and its agent’s website that uses LIC in their name. For e.g. try searching "LIC Jeevan Saral" and the first results that comes in Google is licindia.in, which belongs to an agent and not LIC.

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Param Iyer

Param Iyer 4 years ago

What makes one think that LIC (or any other company) or its officials really care??? Their profits & bonuses are dependant on increasing sales, not promoting ethical practices.
Wake up & smell the coffee!!!

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