Fake PMO website ‘Pradhan mantri adarsh yojna’ busted, mastermind nabbed from Kolkata

Fake PMO website ‘Pradhan mantri adarsh yojna’ busted, mastermind nabbed from Kolkata

New Delhi: In a major achievement, Delhi Police Crime Branch busted a fake website of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) named ‘Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Yojna’.

According to police, the mastermind of the said racket has been identified as Sudipta Chatterjee, who managed the website from Kolkata. Police arrested him on Saturday after getting a secret information about the fake website which used to cheat several people on the pretext of providing them government loans after receiving some initial deposits.

The website was being run from Howrah in West Bengal with an active call centre with 17 telephone callers who used to give the applicants the registration number of their application form, as per reports.

Interestingly, the tele-callers were specially trained by Sudipta and scripts were provided to them which were prepared with great care and caution, so that the prospective client had no idea of being cheated.

There were a few clauses about the banking transactions, in which the client would be persuaded that he has to maintain a specified amount in his account as security.

The mastermind would also obtain signed cheques, ATM cards, PIN number of the accounts and would direct the client that he should not avail any telebanking or net banking facility on that account.

Once these steps were completed, he would withdraw the security amount from the client`s account.

Chatterjee also disclosed that his associate was a web designer who helped him create other domains by the name of bharat-sarkar.in, govindia.in, CGTMSE-govt.in, CGTMSE-gov.in.

He also created similar e-mails by the name of goi@developmentofindia.in andproject@developmentofindia.in.

According to the police official, Chatterjee created the fake website, projected it as a government one and hosted it on a server based in the US.

“To confuse the users, the URL had the reflection of a government website and it was listed on priority with Google. Whenever, any online surfer would search this website would figure in the top hits. There were sufficient reasons to believe it was a government website, he said, ” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Ravindra Yadav said on Sunday.

Details of the server were obtained on the basis of the fake URL — www.pmay-gov.in.

Yesterday, in a joint operation by Delhi and West Bengal Police, Sudipta Chatterjee, the 43-year-old mastermind of the racket, was arrested from Howrah, where the network had its base.

“The fake website was created with the aim of cheating people of their money on the pretext of providing them loans for various projects and schemes,” Yadav added.

Twenty mobile phones, hard disks, internet dongles, cheques related to 43 bank accounts, fake project reports, some incriminating documents along with 16 rubber stamps of government offices were recovered from his possession.

Earlier, the PMO had asked the Cyber Security Cell of the Department of IT to block all fake accounts as these had content having “communal overtones” and could have serious ramifications as these could be mistaken as the official account of the PMO.

The PMO had initially asked Twitter to shut down some handles but after it was not done, the matter was referred to the Cyber Security Cell.

The deadline was given after Twitter failed to respond to the Ministry of Home Affairs’ request to issue show cause notices on offensive and provocative Twitter handles.

Former Union home secretary RK Singh had then asked the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEIT) to serve the ultimatum on Twitter as it failed to comply with the government order to block 28 webpages on its site.



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