Is Raj Rajaratnam the new Nigerian email?

June 12, 2012

Just before I clicked on the ‘delete’ button at the top of my spam folder in Gmail, I spotted the name. Asha Rajaratnam, it said, and the mail was titled ‘Namaste’ (a traditional Indian greeting).

“My name is Asha Rajaratnam, I am the wife of Raj Rajaratnam founder of the Galleon Group, New York. I do have a proposal for you, which would be of financial benefits to you and myself,” it said.

The mail came from arajaratnam@galleon.com and if it hadn’t been for the red warning strip from Gmail and the fact that I know the former Galleon Group hedge fund manager is serving an 11-year prison sentence for insider trading, it would have come across as a genuine mail.

“My husband has been jailed in the U.S. for 11 years, I need your assistance to help me move some funds from Holland to India or anywhere where it would at least be of some help to our family,” it said.

Looks like the 419 scamsters have moved beyond Nigeria and found the Galleon Group owner and his family as a new front.

Given that Rajaratnam’s case and the trial of former Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta is being closely followed in India and the United States, and their names are familiar to those who have access to the internet and news media, this might actually be a more effective version of the old phishing trick. Beware!

2 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Yes this is a scam email not originating from Asha, she lives in opulence in the south of India with her kids and close family. This Nigerian type scam has now been morphed by scammers from several countries, and anybody crazy enough believe in these get rich schemes, deserves to be scammed.
What really amazes me is the fact that Rajaratnam was stupid enough to be caught in this type of scam of “wall street” type insider trading, he was rich beyond his means so why the hell did he do it? I guess greed finally took over.

Posted by politicaljunkie | Report as abusive

And how does this qualify as news? This reporter needs to be sent back to journalism school, assuming she attended one in the first place.

Posted by LBNYC | Report as abusive