A student deliberately froze his legs so that they would be amputated: he wanted to receive $1,3 million in insurance - ForumDaily
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The student deliberately froze his legs so that they would be amputated: he wanted to collect $1,3 million in insurance

A university student in Taiwan froze his legs so they could be amputated. He hoped to receive an insurance payout of $1,3 million, but he was arrested on suspicion of fraud, reports Insider.

Handcuffs lying on American dollars

Photo: iStock.com/baona

A 23-year-old man surnamed Zhang immersed his feet in a bucket of dry ice for more than 10 hours.

He wanted to get frostbite so severe that he would need a double amputation.

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Zhang's high school friend, Liao, convinced him to commit insurance fraud. But even the most famous American scammers who deceived millionaires and the US government were caught in their scams - read about them in our material.

Investigators said Liao, also 23, suffered losses from cryptocurrency trading and tricked Zhang into signing a legal document obliging him to repay about $800. Liao told Zhang that he was being targeted by gangsters.

Scammers plan

On January 26, 2023, Liao and Zhang were riding a motorcycle at night in Taipei. They wanted to tell the insurance company that Zhang suffered frostbite while riding a motorcycle late in the evening.

Just days earlier, Zhang bought expensive life, travel and accident insurance policies, prosecutors said.

After riding a motorcycle, Zhang immersed his feet in dry ice and was hospitalized. But during the examination, the medical staff sensed something wrong.

There were no signs of shoes or socks on his feet, and the injuries appeared symmetrical, inconsistent with natural frostbite, investigators said. In addition, the weather on the night of January 26 was not very cold.

“As Taiwan is a subtropical region, cases of severe frostbite requiring amputation are very rare due to natural climate conditions,” investigators said in a statement.

Zhang's legs were amputated below the calf due to frostbite, and his case was reported to authorities.

When police investigated Zhang and Liao in November, they found a plastic bucket in which Zhang had frozen his feet, insurance documents, a white polystyrene dry ice box, eight mobile phones and a tablet computer.

Liao and Zhang were arrested on January 17. They are charged with fraud and aiding and abetting grievous bodily harm.

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Local media, citing prosecutors, reported that Zhang managed to receive $7 from one insurance company, but this money will be confiscated.

Some insurers and authorities are reporting that insurance fraud rates are rising since the height of the pandemic.

In February, South Korea amended its insurance fraud prevention law to punish offenders more harshly. Fraudsters face up to 10 years in prison or a fine of $37.

The FBI estimates that between $400 and $700 a year in the average U.S. household's insurance premiums goes toward insurance fraud costs.

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