Is Raj Rajaratnam the new Nigerian email?
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).
The mail came from email@example.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!