Cyprus Mail

Fake investment site uses Anastasiades, businessmen in scam effort 

Top: The real Christis Hassapis (left) next to the fake Hassapis and bottom left the real Marios Hannides next to the fake Hannides

By Jean Christou

Police have been alerted to a scam investment website that not only uses the name and photo of President Nicos Anastasiades but also the CVs of eight Cypriot businessmen, economists and academics it claims are on its team, including outgoing Bank of Cyprus chairman Christis Hassapis and Cyprus Tourism Organisation boss Marios Hannides.

The firm, OSE Capital claims to be the world’s leading investment bank and securities and investment management company.  “We offer a variety of financial services for a wide range of customers, clients include enterprises, financial institutions, governments and high net worth individuals,” it says. It also donates millions to the poor every year, and has as clients Bank of Cyprus Marfin Laiki, Barings Bank and the Bank of Greece, it adds.

Under the title ‘The speech of Sri Lanka president’, dated January 5, 2013, the site shows a photo of Anastasiades calling him ‘President Nicos Anastasiou summer Adams’ and quotes him as saying: “The current financial crisis, while at stake, Ose Capital is one of the biggest supporters of Cyprus (sic)”.

“Ose and Cyprus for as long as twenty years of cooperation, while promoting economic progress but also enhances the ability to withstand the international financial sector risks. Now our country will be a hit in the financial crisis, Ose active participation of Cyprus in the construction and investment environment, seek further cooperation, which is after the financial crisis, a lot of support for Cyprus (sic),” it adds, appearing to have been run through Google Translate.

The website uses the real CVs but fake photos of eight Cypriots involved in business, economics and academia, including Hassapis and Hannides.

One of the other six Cypriots, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Cyprus Mail yesterday he had no clue his name and CV were being used on such a site. He said when he  Googled his name, the fake photos also surfaced though there are real photos of him on LinkedIn and elsewhere on the internet. “This is very bad for all of us,” he said after viewing the site. He said he would immediately alert the Cybercrimes units of the police, as the Cyprus Mail had already done.

An officer there told the newspaper they would look into the website. Later on Tuesday in an official email response, the Cybercrimes unit said: “Our office took the appropriate action for the removal of the fake website. In order for the police to investigate, an official complaint has to be made by the persons whose details are in the website.”

The presidential palace was also alerted.




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