Hyderabad: A man was held by the cybercrime unit of the Hyderabad Police for running a fake Congress donation portal ‘DonateINC.co.in’, mimicking the original Indian National Congress’s (INC) donation website ‘DonateINC.net’.
On Wednesday, January 10, cybercrime police received a complaint from representatives of the Congress that a cyber fraudster had created a fake donations profile of their political party.
BJP buys domain named after Congress’ crowdfunding campaign, spurs confusion
Police registered a complaint, and started investigations. Soon, a team of Hyderabad cybercrime police left for Rajasthan and exposed the man behind the fake online platform.
The fake site, DonateINC.co.in was being used by scammers to cheat on people looking to donate to INC. “People who believed it to be a genuine website have donated their money,” cybercrime police said in a press release on Tuesday.
Joint Commissioner of Police, Cyber Crime, AV Ranganath, said the accused is 22-year-old Surendra Choudary, from Jaipur, Rajasthan, he was running the fake website.
Earlier, on December 18, the Congress’ crowdfunding campaign ‘Donate for Desh’ also hit a similar hurdle. A website domain ‘DonateforDesh.org’ was purchased by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) soon after Congress announced the launch, and all the Congress donors were redirected to the donation page of the BJP.
In response, Supriya Shrinate, a Congress leader and the chairperson for the party’s social media and digital platforms, accused the BJP of “copying” their initiative and “creating fake domains to confuse people.” The Congress has since directed supporters to their official campaign domain, donateinc.net, to circumvent this confusion.