The Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has filed a complaint with the cyber police station in Mumbai after fraudsters allegedly wrote to banks in several countries with business proposals seeking loans, posing as senior executives of the firm.
The alleged fraud was discovered after the representative of a bank based in South Africa wrote to the RIL’s Mergers and Acquisition Department. The banker claimed to have received an email from an RIL executive expressing interest in investing in real estate and retail in South Africa. The firm, however, discovered that the executive had in fact not sent the email.
An internal investigation revealed that similar emails, bearing the names of two other senior RIL executives, had also been sent to banks in Canada, Germany, Singapore, the US and the UK.
The emails to the banks, seeking capital investment amounting to several million dollars, also contained forged documents and signatures of the firm’s executives, said a cyber police officer. The bogus addresses were found to end with “@ril.vc” and not “@ril.com”.
An RIL spokesperson said that this was the fourth FIR — lodged in June — the company had got registered with the cyber police since last September after yet another attempt by fraudsters to impersonate its executives came to light. Earlier, unidentified persons had been booked for committing fraud and forgery under the Indian Penal Code and identity theft and impersonation under the Information Technology Act, said the police.
The officer said that a person previously arrested in connection to the other FIRs is suspected to been involved in the latest offence. “We had arrested one man last year. But he is suspected to have gone abroad as soon as he was released on bail and become active once more,” the officer added.
On Monday night, RIL published a fraud alert on its website warning people to beware of emails received from addresses ending with “@ril.vc”.
The alert stated, “Our attention has been drawn to the fact that certain persons masquerading as officials of Reliance Industries Limited or our Group Companies are making business proposals to companies and individuals in several countries using fake email IDs ending with “@ril.vc”. These business proposals are in respect of raising funds, proposed mergers and acquisitions and jobs at higher management level. Please do not enter into any correspondence or transactions of any nature whatsoever on the basis of a communication received by you from any email ID except “@ril.com”. Such correspondence or transaction will not bind us or our Group Companies in any manner whatsoever.”
It also listed six bogus email addresses from which the fraudulent business proposals are regularly sent.
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