Written bySiddhant Pandey
If you recently signed up for a free laptop scheme under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's name, you have been duped.
Reportedly, it was all a fake scheme run by a 23-year-old Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) graduate.
He has been arrested, the police said on Sunday, but not before he stole data from over 15 lakh people.
Here's how he pulled it off.
Rakesh Jangid ran a fake website with pictures of PM Modi, using "Make in India" slogans and claimed to distribute free laptops to "2 crore youths."
The dubious scheme, called "Free Laptop Government Scheme on the Occasion of Re-election of New Government" was made viral on WhatsApp and other channels.
Jangid also reportedly used BJP's Lok Sabha elections victory to push the scheme further.
According to The Indian Express, the website- www.modi-laptop.wishguruji.com- asked for a visitor's name, age, phone number and state for "registration" and collected data from 15 lakh people within two days.
"Using 'Make in India' logo and PM's picture, he had created a website offering free laptops to 20 million registered users," DCP (Cyber Crime Unit) Special Cell Anyesh Roy told the publication.
Jangid revealed during questioning that he planned to use the data for illegal monetary gains by selling it to cybercriminals, who could then extort money from the victims, PTI reported.
He also confessed to using Google AdSense, a program that allows bloggers and website owners to make money by displaying Google ads, to earn money from page views and clicks on ads.
"AdSense publishers receive 68% of the click cost and Google takes 32% as commission. 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," Roy told TIE.
However, the website's popularity also became its downfall. The Cyber Crime Unit of Delhi Police (CyPAD) noticed a huge surge in the website's views while monitoring online activity and got suspicious.
An investigation followed and Jangid was arrested from his hometown Pundlota in Rajasthan's Nagaur district.
The police are now trying to identify if others were involved in the scam in the ongoing investigation.
Jangid was pursuing a post-graduate course in management and economics from IIT Kanpur and graduated earlier this year. The police said he was also offered a job at a private company in Hyderabad, however, he orchestrated the fake scheme for easy money.
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