Delhi HC directs WhatsApp, Telegram to suspend fraud accounts using Peak XV, Sequoia Capital names
In their lawsuit, VC firms Peak XV and Sequoia Capital said fraudulent accounts were using their names to lure people into investment schemes.
The Delhi High Court ordered messaging platforms WhatsApp and Telegram to suspend accounts engaged in fraudulent activities using the names of Peak XV and Sequoia Capital.
The court also directed these messaging platforms to suspend and block access to such accounts and provide the necessary information on the identification of the fraud accounts for further action by the government enforcement authorities.
It also directed the telecom and IT departments to ensure all telecom and internet service providers permanently block and remove access to all the telephone numbers, websites, and domain names misusing the names of the two venture capital firms.
The development comes after Peak XV and Sequoia Capital filed lawsuits before the Delhi High Court on January 22 this year against unknown persons indulging in financial scams using their names.
Sequoia Capital is a marquee name in the world of venture capital, while Peak XV was formerly the India arm of Sequoia before it separated its India business.
According to these firms, a series of financial scams have proliferated online, wherein scammers are using the names of Peak XV and Sequoia Capital to dupe the public to the extent of several lakhs and crores of rupees.
In the lawsuit, Peak XV said it was alerted about one such scam in December 2023, where an account 'Pak XV' tried to pass off the VC firm's brand and trademarks, including reproducing content from the official website, to operate its website and application that offered fake investment schemes.
Similarly, Sequoia Capital, in September 2023, was informed of a WhatsApp group named 'John Analyst Group-303' managed by persons who identified themselves as Sequoia Capital Investors Advisors and Sequoia Capital BTC Trading Team—purportedly a part of the Sequoia Capital Group.
The fraudulent accounts on these platforms also impersonated employees of the firm to conduct webinars on stock trading tips with the intent to dupe the public, the firms said in their submission to the court.
Edited by Suman Singh