Man Soaks His Legs in Dry Ice for 10 Hours to Fake Frostbite for Insurance Fraud

A couple of Taiwanese university students are being accused of faking frostbite injuries that eventually warranted a double amputation to defraud insurance companies.

Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau has accused a university student surnamed Chang of conspiring with a former high-school colleague named Liao to orchestrate a bizarre insurance fraud in January of last year. Evidence presented to prosecutors shows that in early January of last year, Chang took out policies covering disabilities, injuries, health, and travel safety from at least five insurers. On the night of January 26, both Chang and Liao rode their motorcycles through Taipei, to make it seem like one of them suffered frostbite because of the cold weather. In reality, the frostbite was self-inflicted and caused by a bucket of dry ice.


Chang and Liao hoped to pocket around 41 million TWD ($1.29 million) from the insurance policies they had taken out, but in order to do that, one of them had to make a very tough choice. After discussing the best course of action, Chang agreed to give up both his legs for a slightly bigger piece of the pie (25 million TWD). He had to soak his feet in a bucket of dry ice for more than 10 hours and agreed to be tied to a chair by Liao, to ensure that he put up with the grueling pain.

On January 28, after 10 hours of soaking his legs in dry ice, Chang had to be hospitalized and because doctors could no longer save his lower limbs, he suffered a double below-the-knee amputation. He filed insurance claims almost immediately after being discharged and he actually got paid 230,000 TWD ($7240) by one insurer, but the rest decided to investigate the case.

The unusual number of insurance policies taken out in such a short period of time and the circumstances of Chang’s frostbite injuries were considered suspicious by insurance companies, some of which reported the case to the local authorities. During the investigation that followed, prosecutors found that Chang had unusually symmetrical injuries that lacked an imprint from his shoes or socks.

Photo: Vlad Deep/Unsplash

While checking the weather on January 26, the night that the frostbite injuries allegedly occurred, temperatures ranged from 6 degrees Celsius to 17 degrees Celsius, for from cold enough to cause frostbite. While checking the two young men’s homes, authorities found insurance documents, medical records, as well as a styrofoam box in which dry ice had been stored.

Prosecutors claim that Liao was facing serious financial problems due to losing his money on the cryptocurrency market and managed to convince Chang to go along with his plan and get a huge payout. On March 14 both men were charged with fraud, but Liao was also charged for causing his friend’s serious physical injuries.

This case once again proves that some people will do anything for money. Just a few weeks ago, we posted about a paraplegic man who paid someone to cuto off his legs and make it look like an accident for insurance fraud purposes, but there was also the case of a Slovakian woman who allegedly cut off her own hand for an insurance payout, as well as the Vietnamese woman who paid someone to cut off her hand and foot to claim an insurance payout.

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