Fake 'Digital India' Portal Makes Rs 11 Crore Duping People; Know How They Pull It Off
On July 24, Special Task Force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh Police busted a repeat offender, who was running a fake website. The arrested was operating with a gang, involved in duping thousands of people of Rs 11 crore by offering them franchise under the ‘Digital India’ programme of the central government.
The mastermind of the gang and director of the company is identified as Sudhanshu Shukla, a native of Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh. The accused was arrested from Gomtinagar, Lucknow. Documents related to the fake websites have also been seized from him. Earlier, the same accused was arrested by the Delhi Police for impersonating himself as a CBI official, as reported by Times Of India.
In a statement, Uttar Pradesh STF said some people were operating a fake website ‘www.egramdigital.co.in’ and claimed to provide utility services to support Centre’s Digital India programme. The fake website still seems to be up and running.
An STF spokesperson, Abhishek Singh said that they started to work on the case on the complaint of the Union minister for electronics and information technology ministry. He added that some people had complained to the Prime Minister’s Office alleging that some people running a fake website were duping people in the name of various programmes under Digital India.
According to Financial Express, “During the investigation, it was found that some people had made a gang and also created a fake website, and they also uploaded the voice message of the Prime Minister and logo of Digital India without prior permission. The website was hosted on a web server in Switzerland, in which the owner’s address was not provided, and a contact number of a foreign country was given. Some hyperlinks of various government departments were also made available on the website, so that the people may consider it as real,” the spokesman said.
He further added that the website also offered multiple services like money transfer, Aadhar-enabled payment system, PAN, health insurance, mobile/DTH recharge, bus/train tickets and movie/hotel bookings. The racket duped the people by claiming that the company is working with the government-run ‘Digital India’ program.
According to the STF, the gang members kept their addresses and mobile numbers a secret. Even the sim card that they were using for operating was procured using fake identity documents.
In the last few months, the mastermind of the company, Shukla created a network of 1,600 franchisees collecting Rs 3,000 to Rs 7,000 each in the name of licence for the applications. His account showed transactions worth Rs 11 crore with thousands of innocent people falling into his net. The STF is trying to get information about other gang members from Shukla.
The Logical Indian Take
After fake news now there is the fake replica of the government website. Please make sure to check the authenticity of any website that you are investing your money in or is asking for your personal or bank details. Do check the logo and the address mentioned on the website. In case of doubt, try calling on the numbers provided on the website or do a search on Google. The original Digital India website does not have any services for bus or train tickets. So if you come across any service providers like these, do report.
The real Digital India website: http://www.digitalindia.gov.in/