Nykaa, an Indian retail seller of beauty, wellness, and fashion products, has been duped of ₹60 lakh by a cyber fraudster who spoofed the email ID of its Italian supplier. A complaint was lodged by Hemanshu Mehta, head, governance risk and compliance officer of the company, at the N.M. Joshi Marg police station on August 10.
On November 14, 2019, the company had ordered raw material from an Italy-based company Omnicos for 71,000 euros (₹60 lakh). On March 20, this year, the vendor informed the company via email and on phone that the raw material was ready and an invoice for it had been sent. The vendor also said that as per rules, the payment would have to be made within 30 days.
“Due to the imposition of COVID-19-induced lockdown since March 22, the company could not import the material ordered,” the complainant in his FIR said. However, in April, Nykaa informed the Italy-based company that the procedure to make the payment had been initiated. The email ID of the Italian firm had the domain name as omnicos.it.
After a few days, Nykaa received an email from an ID which had the name of the coordinator from Omnicos, along with omnicos.it, followed by the domain of gmail. The email said that due to the lockdown, its regular bank account was facing issues and a new invoice was being issued with a new bank account and all the payments henceforth would have to be made on that account.
In May, the firm from Italy enquired about the payment to which Nykaa said it was done on its new account. After verifying the transaction details sent by Nykaa, Omnicos confirmed that neither the email ID belonged to it nor the bank account.
“After conducting an internal enquiry, they realised that they have been duped. The accused made a lookalike email ID with a different domain and cheated them. At this stage, it is difficult to conclude if any internal employee from either of the companies is involved. With the help of a technical team, we are investigating the matter and trying to find the origin of the email sent,” senior police inspector Pandit Thorat from N.M. Joshi Marg police station said.
A Nykaa spokesperson said that there was no breach in customer data. “We filed a complaint with the police after detecting fraudulent activity targeting Nykaa. We are supporting the police in their investigation.”
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