Recently, a website ‘www.ujwalayojana.com’ was in the news for defrauding customers by providing fake LPG distributorships. With one letter different from the PMs Flagship scheme ‘a, this is one of the many web domains with very similar names to actual government schemes and have been caught for their fraudulent acts.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has been receiving multiple grievances with regards to such sites, and each are now being dealt with on a priority basis. From these complaints the ministry identified six common hi-tech modus operandi which are increasingly being employed. This includes (i) using names similar to government scheme websites, (ii) using logo of government schemes with photos of the PM. (iii) providing links to prove authenticity (iv) alluring people by providing fake job offers and appointment letters (v) Extorting money (vi) Targeting newly launched government schemes and capitalizing on the people’s lack of awareness of the same.
The ministry has directed all other ministries to ensure that their programs are not being misrepresented online. They have also suggested awareness schemes, identification of fake schemes, lodging FIR’s and informing organizations like the National Internet Exchange of India regarding such incidents.