Fake Popular Brand Websites: Delhi HC Orders Investigation, Police Record FIR

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Observing that there are a number of cases where fraudulent domain names are registered under the trademarks of well-known and established business houses and their brands to trick people, the Delhi High Court ordered the unit of cybercrime of the special cell to continue its investigation. and submit a status report to court on August 3.

Justice Pratibha M Singh, in an order, said at least 27 such cases in the High Court must be placed before the same bench “as the investigation needs to be consolidated and full instructions may be required” to police, cyber cells, banks, National Payment Corporation of India, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and other authorities.

“The said domain names are used to host fraudulent websites with bank account details under the guise of offering jobs, dealerships, franchisees, raffles and various other illegal activities,” the court said in the ordinance of July 20.

Following a court order, the special cell registered an FIR in this case on July 20. The cybercrime unit, Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO), formed an SIT and opened an investigation into the creation of fake accounts in the name of well-known trading houses.

The court said that the IFSO is free to approach the National Payments Corporation of India and the banks concerned to obtain data relating to various fraudulent accounts and the people who opened them.

The order was issued in the case filed by Fashnear Technologies Private Limited, the owner of shopping website Meesho, alleging that certain entities through various means approached customers and informed them that they had won a lottery prize.

Fashnear said that under the guise of fake lottery winning, these entities trick gullible people into submitting their bank details and paying an upfront fee to receive the principal amount or to enjoy free gifts.

Ordering the blocking of three bogus online marketplaces with “Meesho” in their domain names, Judge Singh ordered GoDaddy and other registrars to turn over details of people who registered the sites to Fashnear, which was in turn instructed to provide the same to the police for further investigation.

The court also ordered domain name registrars to ensure that no other fake websites or domain names containing the “Meesho” trademark are registered by them.

“All banks involved will further ensure that bank accounts linked to said three domain names are frozen and blocked,” the court said.

Police told the court that several vulnerable people are duped huge sums of money by registering domain names containing the “Meesho” trademark.

“Several bank accounts are published on such domain names/websites, and in one of these accounts, a total transaction of more than Rs.53 lakhs was found by the Cyber ​​Crime Unit and an amount of only Rs.79/- was found to remain as the balance amount,” he told the court.

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