Fake government websites dupe over 4,000 of Rs 1.2 cr

The Delhi Police’s Cyber Crime Unit has busted two websites passing themselves as government sites for registration on GeM (government e-marketplace) to defraud people and arrested four people in this connection, police said on Thursday.

Unsuspecting people went to the fake sites after searching for GeM Registration on Google, police said, adding that around 4,000 people, who have been cheated of approximately Rs 1.20 crore, have been identified.

The four arrested accused, identified as Yash Sharma, Tushar Naiyyer, Anurag Chug and Suraj Verma, were running two fake websites for registration on GeM Portal and were charging Rs 2,999 as registration fee whereas this facility is free of cost on the real website.

The accused disclosed during their interrogation that they used to spend a significant portion of their money they had cheated money on Google Ads in order to keep their fake, bogus website on top in Google search results.

On preliminary scrutiny of their mobile phones and laptops, information about more than 4,000 victims has been found and is being analysed to link them with the complaints received.

Sharma is connected with the website www.govregistration.in,and through this website, he had duped more than 2,500 victims of around Rs 65-70 lakh. The other three are connected with the website www.gov-registration.org. Through this website, they had duped close to 1,600 victims of around Rs 35-40 lakh.

“Fraudsters manipulate online search results to direct users to fake websites, helpline numbers, etc. Citizens are advised to closely look out for genuine government sites and helpline numbers before engaging with them. The genuine GeM Portal is https://gem.gov.in and the genuine government sites have ‘gov.in’ at their end,” DCP, Cyber Crime unit, Anyesh Roy said.