Yesterday, I had published a post about a fraud using the names of Mr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister and Mr Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India besides Mr R.M.Lodha, former Chief Justice, PMO and CVC.
Last Saturday and later I had contacted the offices of these entities through available e-mail and alerted them about the potential fraud and sought their reaction. I had also filed a complaint on the PMO website. But so far I have not received any information about any remedial action taken.
This apathy is the biggest challenge to Cyber Security since Government machinery including Police who should have acted at the hint of the fraud donot start thinking until a major crisis hits them. Media most of the time are busy on other issues and donot always follow such frauds when it is yet to become a sensational news.
I now provide here the proof why the President’s name, Jitendra Singh’s name was used for a fraud which has already been rolled out. There could be some victims already who may legitimately claim that they were misled because of the names used by the fraudster.
The two letters indicated in my previous articles were accompanied by a Trade Mark Registration form to build credibility and ended up with an offer to appoint people to various designations in the proposed organization called Anti Corruption and Anti Crime Wing of India if they pay some membership fees.
The fees varied from Rs 1200/- for the ordinary member of public to Rs 1 lakh for the office bearer-State President and was proposed as renewable every 2 years. I was told that the membership fee is collected for meeting he expenses and the office bearers would be privileged to have boards on their Cars which will provide status and free access across toll booths.
The fee structure was a give away that it is like an “Advance Fee Fraud”.
There were two other interesting documents provided to substantiate the authenticity of the organization namely a trademark registration and a CVC certificate reproduced below.
There was also a letterhead which indicated a “Registration Number” 174/2017
The trademark registration was done in Mumbai where as the two addresses available for the offices were for Chennai and Delhi.
It was the trademark registration certificate that raised my doubts first since the class of registration was 25 which was for “Clothing”. Also there was a difference in the name and the logo in the certificate.
I asked for clarification from the IP office in Mumbai but did not get an immediate reply. But one of my friends was able to get the copy of the trademark certificate which corresponded to the number 2825274 which is reproduced below.
I have even more information which I have collected in identifying the fraudsters which the Police can use if they want to investigate further.
Now this scam which tries to get members for the Anti Corruption crusade at Rs 1200/- per person in different villages, towns etc besides the intermediaries who opt to become office bearers at higher costs used the identity of the President, the Union Minister, a Trademark officer, The CVC, a Trademark applicant and a Trade mark agent.
All these persons would primafacie be liable for lending their identity for the commission of the fraud though I know that they are innocent bystanders. But what I donot like is that the President, the Union Minister, CVC, PMO and Trademark office were negligent in not responding to my alert and if I decide to stay quiet, they would be allowing their names to be used further for cheating the public.
This apathy, ignorance or arrogance is what needs to be flagged for correction. If we donot wake up even when some body tries to wake us up, then we cannot claim the defence of innocence.
It would be appropriate if the President’s secretariat as well as Mr Jitendra Singh’s secretariat as well as the others issue a public apology for not quickly responding to the alerts sent by me.
Even if they had not recognized the importance of the e-mails I had sent earlier, my article yesterday should have been noticed by the IB and brought to the attention of the concerned persons who ought to have responded yesterday itself to counter the involvement of these state functionaries in the attempted scam.
I hope at least this article will make them realize the need to be responsive to such security incidents reported in the public medium such as these blogs.
We often worry about “Fake News”. But it is necessary for the authorities to realize that some times, genuine news also comes from the web and ignoring them is fraught with as much risk as believing in fake news.
Let’s see if I get any response from any of the authorities.
I wish any of the victims involved in the scam which might have just started file a complaint with Police either at Chennai or Bangalore or Delhi or Mumbai where victims are likely to be spread out so that proper investigation can be taken up.