Kiran Bedi's website in email fraud row

Cheat sends out mails from domain demanding money from receivers and threatening to 'expose' them if they didn't comply. Agency probing case says former top cop's foundation isn't cooperating.

Call it the improvisation of the culprits or vulnerability of email service providers. A Delhi-based investigating agency is probing a case wherein email fraud has been committed using a mail id from the domain, which is owned by former top cop and now Team Anna member, Kiran Bedi. Sources in the agency say that in the past few months they have received two complaints in which the senders of the mail have demanded money to from the receivers to claim a prize won by lottery.

Currency exchange
"I received a complaint in September through an email ID from the domain demanding money from me in exchange of several pounds, which the mail claimed had been won by me," the complainant, who didn't wish to be named, said. Investigating officers said that when they began inquiring into the matter they found a similar service provider used in another complaint.

"The website is the official site of India Vision Foundation (IVF), which is chaired by Kiran Bedi. After receiving such complaints we contacted the office of this website. However, despite repeated attempts they have not been able to furnish the desired information," investigating officers said.
When contacted by MiD DAY, Kiran Bedi said, "Sure. I recall our webmaster telling me about this."

'No clue'
"We don't have any records of any such instance. And if the investigating agency asks for any help we will provide it. We are also planning to stop the mechanism of people getting mail ids from our site," said Anup Sinha, webmaster, Investigating officers said that they are asking for the records to decipher who created the mail accounts using the service provider, from which these malicious emails were sent to the complainants.

Agency sources said that in reply to queries sent by them to representatives, they were told: "In this website, police personnel can create mail ids. Investigators said that the sender of these mails is even using names of senior officers and official logos of the probe agency to authenticate their claims and if the receivers refuse to accept their offers the senders would threaten them of dire consequences.

Deeper problem
"This case is important for us as creation of such email accounts can be used for other purposes too. We are investigating this case from all possible angles and are waiting for the reply of to go further
in identifying the culprits. If they provide us the details as to who created these accounts we will have a clearer idea," the investigating officials said.

Change of plans
The investigators suggest that the perpetrators of the scam have gone beyond their previous modus operandi. "Initially they would send emails on random ids using fake random accounts. But with emergence of such complaints we know that they have improvised and are now using service providers to certain government or government aided organisations to make a different impression on the receivers," sources said. They are also using identities of major agencies in Delhi and other areas in a bid to authenticate their claims of lottery prizes. "They had to look for other ways as the police had launched awareness programmes so that people avoid lottery related mails," sources said.

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