Thursday, February 19, 2015

Consumer alert: Recent widows are target of life insurance scam

We’ve received reports that a scammer is targeting people who recently lost a spouse in the Spokane area.

The scammer has called several women who recently lost their husbands. The caller says there’s a life insurance policy on the spouse, but the policy hasn’t been paid on in recent months. The caller instructed the surviving spouse to send cash or gift cards in order to get the life insurance benefit. In all cases, no policy existed.

If you get an inquiry from someone who says they have an insurance policy you’ve never heard of, document as much information as you can in case you need to report it to the police. Then, call the insurer and determine whether there is in fact a policy. You can look up insurance companies and their phone numbers on our website. If you find out someone is attempting to scam you, report it to your local law enforcement agency. You can find a list of law enforcement agencies on the state's 211 website.

An insurance company will never call you and ask you to send them cash or gift cards in order to get a life insurance benefit. Sadly, even during a time of grief, consumers have to be on guard against scammers.

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