By Gavin Gibbon
Rizwan Sajan says his account was cloned and friends asked for rogue donations on his behalf
The founder and chairman of Dubai-based Danube Group, Rizwan Sajan, is taking legal action after falling victim to a cybercriminal, who solicited donations through a fake Facebook account under the Indian billionaire businessman’s name.
According to a release from the company, a cloned account was set up and contact was made with Sajan’s friends, requesting donations to an online crowd-funding platform based out of India, claiming to support a child suffering from a blood disorder.
In a posting on Facebook, Sajan confirmed that the matter was in the hands of Dubai Police. He said: “Please note that someone has again created a fake account under my name and is sending random messages to many of my friends.
“If you get a friend request or any such random message asking for contributions or donations, do not respond to them or revert to any messages. We have already processed a cyber-complaint and hope to catch the culprit soon.”
According to Kaspersky, the average cost of a cyberattack rose to between $108,000 and $1.4 billion in 2019, while the average global spend on security products and services is estimated at a new high of $124bn.
“I was devastated when I came to know that somebody is using my name to rip people off during these tough times. I quickly reported the issue with Facebook to close the account which was taken down soon after, while I also filed a case with the cybercrime unit of Dubai Police for legal action,” added Sajan.
The news comes as it was revealed cybercrime is becoming an even greater threat during the Covid-19 pandemic, forcing the United Nations to issue a global warning just a few days ago.
Izumi Nakamitsu, United Nations Under-Secretary-General of Disarmament Affairs, told an informal meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday that “there have also been worrying reports of attacks against health care organisations and medical research facilities worldwide”.
She said growing digital dependency has increased the vulnerability to cyberattacks, and “it is estimated that one such attack takes place every 39 seconds”.
Sajan added: “I urge everyone to be vigilant against such scams as this is a growing phenomenon.”