Consumer advocates warn of spam emails with private health insurance offers
Klaus Meyer plans to start his own business next month. For this, he plans to switch from statutory to private health insurance. An email from the "consumer service" came just right. "Full insurance should only cost 59 euros a month," Meyer reported. At least that was in the mail. Hundreds of thousands of German citizens currently receive such and similar emails almost every day. Consumer advocates are now warning of a wave of so-called phishing emails, which are only out to steal the data of the person concerned.
Beware of cheap PKV offers
Spam e-mails currently offer extremely cheap private health insurance. The consumer protection center North Rhine-Westphalia reports that the recipients are offered particularly low tariffs from private health insurers. In order to appear trustworthy, the senders advertise with terms such as "consumer service". This may suggest that the email was sent from the consumer protection center. "Many people turned to us because they believed that it was an act of consumer protection," said the legal advisor of the NRW consumer center, Dr. Gabriele Gärtner.
In the emails people speak of so-called Volks-Versicherungen. For example, it says: "Private patients from € 59 a month - the new national insurance." The email contains a link to an alleged insurance comparison. If the recipients click on the link, they will be asked to enter their confidential data on a subsequent page. First, you should provide information such as first and last name. This is followed by the address, email, telephone number and profession. "If you enter all the data in the mask and click the compare button, you are delivering your data to strangers," warned the consumer advocates. Instead of the promised tariff comparison, you get nothing more. Accordingly, the senders are only out to collect the data. For this reason, nobody should click the link, let alone fill out the online form.
Association of private health insurers warns
Not only the consumer advice center warns against such online forms. The Association of Private Health Insurers (PKV) also warns in its member magazine against the data collectors of address retailers. The dealers sell the data to numerous distributors. Consumers may then be bombarded with a variety of advertisements via email, mail, and phone calls.
So it happened to Mr. Meyer. After he reported the matter to the consumer advice center, he found out right away that an independent comparison of private health insurance companies could be carried out there for a small fee. "There I was told that a full PKV for 59 euros per month was completely utopian." The dubious offer alone should attract attention. "Even very cheap offers are significantly higher." So-called lure offers have massive performance gaps. Anyone who chooses private health insurance as a freelancer must expect at least 230 to 330 euros per month. In addition, there is a deductible of 100 to 1000 euros.
It's best to delete advertising emails right away
Those who are affected by constant spam mails can also defend themselves. Because the sending of such unwanted advertising emails is prohibited by law. In most cases, the senders are located outside of the EU, so that legal prosecution is almost impossible. Therefore, the consumer advice center will not take action against the shipper because the chances of conviction are close to zero. However, consumers should install a spam filter and have adequate virus protection to protect the computer from viruses. Anyone who still receives emails should simply delete them and never open them. (sb)
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