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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Conglomerate name ‘misused’ to sell cryptocurrency

While no complaint of fraud has been registered so far, the police suspect several people may have been duped.

Written by Jayprakash S Naidu | Mumbai |
July 15, 2021 5:07:56 am
The fraudster, it claimed, also created fake domain names in their name to lure gullible investors from across the world.

The Amboli police has registered an FIR in connection with a cyber fraud where the accused have allegedly used the name, logo and trademark of a conglomerate to float cryptocurrency in the crypto market to lure investors. While no complaint of fraud has been registered so far, the police suspect several people may have been duped.

An FIR was registered earlier this month after a complaint was submitted by the representative of the company, which has an office in Andheri (west). On June 15, the company, which runs a business related to the food industry and has several branches in Mumbai, claimed to have come across social media profiles on different platforms, like Twitter, Telegram etc, allegedly created by an impersonator using the registered trademark of the firm. The accused, the complaint said, was trying to sell the crypto coins for US $0.25 in the crypto market using the goodwill of the company for illicit gains.

The complaint claimed that the company was shocked to see their name and style being used to deceive genuine investors into believing that the coin is a part of their conglomerate. The fraudster, it claimed, also created fake domain names in their name to lure gullible investors from across the world.

The company has provided the police with information related to the fake social media pages created by the fraudster. When contacted, its officials, however, refused to comment and said they did not want to be named.

The crime branch’s cyber police station is currently running a parallel probe in the case and will provide technical assistance to the Amboli police.

Ritesh Bhatia, a cybercrime investigator, who has helped the Mumbai Police in probing cybercrime cases in the past said, “With the boom in the cryptocurrency markets, several cybercrimes are also emerging related to cryptocurrencies and it’s very important that users and investors are aware of these coins. There are many such scams and some of them are fake crypto exchanges, fake initial coin offering scams and fake multi-level marketing and Ponzi schemes.”

The current case, Bhatia said, was very surprising because this was possibly the first time where a logo and company name has been used to create a crypto coin to lure investors.

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