| |

We uncover fake linked financial services business claiming to be in Hong Kong and Singapore

FCRO Subsection: 
Peter Lee

If you were to receive mail from a government URL, you'd give it the time of day. Everyone would.

But this fake investment scam uses an address owned by the government of Paraguay as its spoofed "from" address. And, of course, it uses a free any anonymous e-mail address to collect responses from its victims.

And behind the spam-scam is a far more sophisticated scheme. We scrape away the stinky stuff and lay bare the fraudulent scheme.

Purportedly from *******@sen.gov.py
Reply to william.tai@fidelityinvestment...

We have come across "fidelity investments group limited" before. But this time is interesting because the domain, a search shows, expired two weeks ago. Also interesting is that the mail was routed through "42.187.52.190.copaco.com.py" apparently originating at mail.sen.gov.py ([127.0.0.1] That IP address is reserved for localhost which means that the mail did not go outside the system before arriving at 42.187.52.190. That is interesting because that IP address is, indeed, owned by the government of Paraguay.

And here's where it gets really strange: fidelityinvestmentsgrouplimited.com still works as a website. It says that it's the website of "Fidelity Investment Group". There is no URL for "fidelityinvestmentgroupltd.com." So, if there was no competition for the name, why does the spammer use a variation of it?

The website for fidelityinvestmentsgrouplimited.com is a fairly typical presentation for venture capital company. Of itself, it doesn't present very much to raise suspicions - until one looks at the people. Six senior executives are listed including "William Tai" who is not shown as an "investment consultant" as he is described in the e-mail. In fact, William Tai is shown as Deputy Chief Investment Officer and Director." That's nice.. especially as the connected picture is not a Chinese face and the profile of Tai starts "Deepak is the Chief Investment Officer ... and has been with [us] since 2004." Did we mention that the domain name was registered only in April 2020?

Director Kenneth Wei isn't Chinese, either, according to the photograph and Group CFO, Yuan Cheng's profile starts "Sanjay has over 20 years' experience....."

Harry Hang, also not a Chinese face in the profile photo, is described in his profile as "Hermant" and he is, apparently, the Group Chairman and (wait for it) Chief Investment Officer."

The website has a press page which has not been updated since 2016 - that is four years before the domain was registered and the registration details hidden behind a privacy screen.

The website gives an address at AIA Central in Hong Kong - and a telephone number in Singapore.

Clearly this is not a legitimate website for a genuine company. No such company would send its mail out by spoofing its address, in particular one so obvious as a government address. Secondly, the fact that there is a clear mis-match between the email and the profiles is one thing but the fact that the profiles are so obviously false is a serious marker.

The fact that there is a mis-match between the name of the business and its domain name is, again, a cause for concern.

There's more. The photograph that is supposedly of Kenneth Wei to be found on another website where it is, apparently, of "Arvind Tiku is an entrepreneur and investor with extensive experience in establishing and building international businesses. He is the founder / CEO of AT Capital Pte. Ltd. and founder of AT Holdings Pte. Ltd headquartered in Singapore." It's a "suite" number at the Samsung Hub at 3 Church Street, Singapore.

Except: the website is visual duplicate of that of FidelityInvestmentsGroupLtd.com. The photos include some that are the same, as do the profiles. But the photos are attached to different profiles. Now Arvind Tiku is Indian, not Scandinavian. The Scandinavian is now Niko Derksen. And Hemant (remember him) now has a full name: he's Hemant Tikoo described as "Director (India)"

Neither website refers to any licences or approvals in either country.

The authorities in Hong Kong, Singapore and Paraguay should be aware and take action to warn the public.

This is the text of the spam.

Good day,
Do you need finance to grow your existing business or venture capital to launch your startup business / project? If YES, then you have found the perfect solution through us.
We are Fidelity Investment Group and we offer funding/business loans for startups, existing businesses / strategic plans and more. If this offer is meaningful to you, please reply to this email and I am happy to speak to you further with details.
Best regards
William Tai | Investment Consultant

---------------- Advertising ----------------

--------------------------------------