Cyber crooks are rampantly carrying out fraudulent activities in the name of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), conning gullible customers under the garb of various central schemes.
One such incident has come forward where a Nigerian has been netted by the CBI for allegedly running a racket, whereby he impersonated PMO officials and duped people.
In April 2017, the deputy secretary of PMO wrote a complaint to the CBI alleging that a person named Manjit Singh from Himachal Pradesh claimed to have been duped by a woman named Smita Rani who introduced herself as the processing officer of the PMO Trust Fund Loan.
It is alleged that Singh was offered a loan of `1.5 crore on the pretext of a non-existent scheme.
An investigation into the alleged offence led to 34-year-old Nigerian Tiamiyu Adedamola Williams and some other unknown person who may have been operating from Pune and other places.
According to the charge sheet, to make the act real, Williams and his gang purchased a domain in the name of trans.org.in.
An email was sent through firstname.lastname@example.org, to Singh who was told that he was shortlisted for a programme inaugurated by the PMO and his nomination was issued for the PMO Trust Fund and Loan Scheme.
He was sent a file number and asked to submit his valid identity as proof and the amount he wanted as a loan for the nomination.
Later, another mail was sent to Singh purporting to be from Vivek Kumar, director of the PMO Trust Fund, stating that approval has been issued by the PMO.
According to the charge sheet, Singh was told: ‘The scheme was initiated by the PMO and is part of the poverty alleviation process put in place by the NDA government.
‘It was also informed that this scheme was initiated for the selected approved candidate to express the gratitude and support to the people of the country and to mark the 70th year of independence.
‘This mode was initiated to support candidates in their business and promote the Make In India campaign.’ Singh was asked to deposit `35,000 as registration for the loan.
The cyber crook did not just stop at that. Some more mails were sent to Singh with attached forms purported to be from the Ministry of Finance and Reserve Bank of India.
Having trapped Singh, Williams and the others allegedly sent a mail asking him to get a premium account with RBI.
For this, he was asked to pay an additional `65,000. Sensing fraud, Singh wrote a complaint to the PMO instead of making further payments.
While the CBI was successful in netting Williams, it is still in search of the other accused who are part of the scam.