Friday, 28 August 2015

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Was I scammed?

I have a problem with an insurance policy. In May 2013 I opened a policy through a financial advisor and contributed a sum of P1,500 monthly and it was deducted at source through my employer’s payroll. In February 2015 I changed employment hence my premium could not be deducted in March 2015. In May 2015 I received an SMS informing me that my account was in arrears. In June I went to update my account whereupon I was referred to the insurance company offices.

I met a man who gave me a poor service because he could not tell how much I was owing in order update my account. I eventually requested for my statement to see how I had performed since I opened the account. To my surprise the fund had not performed instead I was given a statement with a value of P8,410 but my contributions amounted to P39,615. I was informed that I should continue paying the premiums until 2030 when the true positive value will then reflect. I demanded for all my premiums to be refunded at least since there have not attracted any interest from 2013 but was told to apply for the P8,410 as my only entitlement.

I then called the advisor for further clarification because I cannot invest in fund which hide the performance to policy holder. He requested to continue paying until My 2016 in order to get a positive value. May you please help me with the issue in particular that premium did not perform even though there was no recession whatsoever since 2013.

I think I know what’s happening here but I’m just an amateur. Instead I contacted a friend who is an expert and this is what he said:
“It appears that the consumer has been sold a long-term policy without being guided as to the charges. Long-term policies tend to have fixed charges that pay for the costs of selling and administering the policy over its whole lifetime. These are either taken out explicitly from investment values up-front, or taken out gradually over time with a surrender penalty if the policy is stopped.

This person either has a policy where a) the charges were explicitly taken out up-front (ie the initial part of his money was not invested, but simply went to pay the future charges) or b) the charges are taken out gradually, but he’s now been given a surrender value which includes a surrender penalty.

The bottom line is, if you take out a twenty-year investment policy and cash it in after two years then it’s not going to work.”
I think you should speak to the insurance company to get more detail on the product and to establish when you will in fact go into profit.

Is he being scammed?
My uncle received a communication from Euro Milliones Spanish Lottery Prize Award Department. He has supposedly won millions of Euros and in order for the money to be released to him he has to pay $1450.00. May you kindly investigate on his behalf if these people are genuine.

I think you know that this is a scam, don’t you? I’m certain that everyone else reading this recognizes it.

You need to explain to your uncle that he must not, under any circumstances, send these crooks any money. He needs to understand that there is no prize money, there is no Spanish Lottery win, there is only an advance fee scam. The only genuine element to this is the money they want from him to get the fictitious winnings. That’s the “advance fee” they are seeking. My experience is that if he does send them the money they’ll just demand more and more money from him, endlessly promising him the winnings until he either realizes that he’s being scammed or he simply runs out of money. Please tell him the truth before he loses out to them.

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