Jail for woman who made fake travel insurance claims of more than S$14,000


SINGAPORE: After successfully inflating the cost of her damaged luggage in an insurance claim, a woman began a series of fraudulent travel claims totaling more than S$14,000.

Siti Saliha Muhammad Hussain, 30, used photos of damaged goods, receipts, boarding passes and police reports she found online and modified some of them with Paint and Microsoft Word applications to support her claims.

On Friday (July 29) she pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud, with 14 other counts being considered. Between March 2016 and September 2019, she made a total of 20 fraudulent claims, 17 of which resulted in payouts.

The companies that fell victim to their plan were AXA Insurance, AIG Asia Pacific Insurance, NTUC Income Insurance Co-operative, Aviva and FWD Singapore.

Siti Saliha was sentenced to five months in prison and will start her sentence in September after being granted a reprieve to do her job and a loan she took out to give insurers a full refund.


The court heard that Siti Saliha traveled to Kuala Lumpur with her mother and two sisters in September 2016. She bought travel insurance policies from AXA and AIG for her family.

During the trip, the family’s luggage, worth about S$200, was damaged when it was collected from the airport’s baggage claim area.

Siti Saliha recalled earlier in the year being able to raise the cost of damaged luggage in an insurance claim without providing supporting documents.

She had also been able to make a separate insurance claim for a piece of luggage that had been damaged before the trip.

“The defendant perceived this as another opportunity to take advantage of the existing difficulties in paying travel insurance claims and intended to do so without the knowledge of her family,” Assistant Prosecutor Angela Ang said.

She went online and found photos of damaged Louis Vuitton luggage and a receipt, as well as a Tumi luggage receipt that she was using to inflate the cost of her damaged luggage.

She used these documents to make claims under her own insurance policies and those of her mother and sisters. AXA and AIG paid out a total of S$750 and S$1,000 respectively for the four bogus claims.

After Siti Saliha “tested the system,” she decided to make fake travel insurance claims whenever possible, making sure to buy policies for herself and her family before every trip, Ms Ang said.

She also occasionally purchased travel insurance just to make a bogus claim when no trip was planned.


During a trip to Tokyo in April 2017, Siti Saliha accidentally misplaced her wallet containing around S$5,000 and her iPhone. Because her policy did not cover losses caused by personal negligence, she made a false report to the Tokyo police that her property had been stolen.

She used the police report in a false claim to AXA. To circumvent a cap on the payout she could receive, she also claimed that her laptop was stolen, which was not true. The insurer paid her S$2,288.

Later that year, Siti Saliha helped one of her sisters get travel insurance for a trip to Krabi and retrieved her sister’s used boarding pass upon her return.

Siti Saliha then found samples of Correction Reports and Property Irregularity Reports online and altered them on her computer to refer to her sister’s laptop and luggage.

She also found old receipts for a laptop and luggage, and searched the internet for photos of damaged items. She submitted this to MSIG along with her sister’s boarding pass and received a payout of S$1,500.

Sometime before February 2019, Siti Saliha also bought her mother a policy for an alleged trip to Pekanbaru. In fact, her mother had not planned such a trip and the policy was bought to make a false claim.

She made a false claim that her mother had S$600 in cash and her iPhone stolen, and attached a fabricated sample police report and a fabricated photo of a boarding pass she found online. She received S$ 1,415 from AXA for this.

She reiterated this after her mother traveled to Jakarta in March 2019 and after her own trip to Kuala Lumpur in April 2019, claiming that property had been stolen and filing fabricated police reports when this was not true.

She also volunteered to get travel insurance for a friend with whom she traveled to Kuala Lumpur in July 2019. She did so with the intention of making false claims of theft upon her return and received a payout of almost S$1,500 from AIG.

The crimes were uncovered after some of the insurance companies found Siti Saliha’s claims suspicious and conducted internal investigations. They then filed a complaint with the police.

“Really quite ironic”

Prosecutors asked for five to seven months in prison and highlighted the efforts Siti Saliha made, including opening various email accounts to purchase the policies without raising suspicion.

Defense attorney Yamuna Balakrishnan applied for a fine, arguing that her client came from a poor background and was the only person to take care of her family members, some of whom were ill and unemployed.

Deputy Presiding District Judge Luke Tan said it was “really quite ironic” that in her mitigation, Siti Saliha highlighted dire financial circumstances when her offenses arose from foreign travel.

He said there was “absolutely no basis” for not imposing a prison sentence, which the case law supports.

The penalty for fraud is up to three years in prison, a fine, or both.


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