Four persons were arrested for allegedly duping over 4,000 people of approximately Rs 1.20 crore by creating fake websites for registration on Government e-Marketplace (GeM), police said on Thursday.
The accused were identified as Yash Sharma (24), Tushar Naiyyer (26), Anurag Chug (28) and Suraj Verma (22), all residents of west Delhi’s Uttam Nagar, they said.
Police said the accused paid huge sums to Google Ads to have their websites listed at the top of Google Search results.
A man filed a complaint alleging that he visited a website, “www.govregistration.in”, thinking it was the official GeM website. He made a payment of Rs 2,999 for registration as a merchant on the fake website. However, the government does not charge any fee for the registration, the police said.
It came to the police’s notice that several other people were duped in the same manner through fake websites, they said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber Cell) Anyesh Roy said that during investigation, the digital and money trail of the fake websites were identified. It was found that these websites were using various payment gateways for receiving the bogus registration fee.
It was also found that the sites were registered and hosted on foreign servers to evade detection, he said.
“After a thorough technical investigation, a raid was conducted in Uttam Nagar and the four accused were arrested,” he said.
It was found that Sharma was connected to “www.govregistration.in” and he had duped more than 2,500 people of around Rs 65-70 lakh through the website, Mr Roy said.
The other three accused were connected to “www.gov-registration.org” and had duped close to 1,600 people of around Rs 35-40 lakh through the website, he added.
During preliminary scrutiny of their mobile phones and laptops, information of more than 4,000 victims was found and it is being analysed to link them with the complaints received, the police said.
The police are also seeking help from Cyber Cell labs to retrieve crucial digital evidence, they said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)