A graduate from one of the Indian Institutes of Technology was arrested in Nagaur district of Rajasthan for allegedly running a fake website with pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and duping people, IANS reported on Sunday. The website claimed that two crore free laptops would be distributed at Modi’s swearing-in ceremony held on May 30.
The Delhi Police arrested Rakesh Jangid on Saturday. “A team of Delhi Police Cyber Cell on Saturday reached Rajasthan’s Nagaur and arrested the accused from his residence,” said Additional PRO, Delhi Police, Anil Mittal, according to News18.
Mittal said Jangid admitted that he had created the website to earn advertising revenue from increased website traffic. But his aim was also to collect personal data of over 15 lakh people which could later be sold to cyber criminals to cheat victims and extort money from them. He promoted his fake website on Whatsapp, Instagram and YouTube.
The website has a photo of the prime minister and the tagline, “Pradhan Mantri Muft Laptop Vitran Yojana 2019”. At the time of registration, it asked for the name, age, phone number and the state of each visitor. “A fake promotional multimedia message using the ‘Make in India’ logo was posted on the website to lure people to register themselves and get the free laptop,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber Crime Unit) Special Cell Anyesh Roy, reported The Indian Express. “They were made to fill out personal data under the guise of registration.”
Jangid allegedly used Google AdSense, which allows bloggers and website owners to make money by displaying ads on their website. Roy said the accused was making money from the large number of page views and clicks on ads on the website. “AdSense publishers receive 68% of the click cost and Google takes 32% as commission,” said Roy. “So far, the accused had managed to get 1.52 million page views and more than 68,000 clicks. The relevant devices have been seized.”
The cyber team said it was the first time they did not receive any formal complaint but acted on their own by monitoring online activities. They received information that someone had created and hosted a website by the domain name www.modi-laptop.wishguruji.com.
Jangid, who graduated this year, was supposed to join a private company in Hyderabad, said the officials. Investigation in the case is still under way, said the police, adding that they were trying to find out if more people are involved in the scam.