Hyderabad Cybercrime Unit Nabs Fraudster Behind Fake Congress Donation Portal

Fake Congress Donation Portal

The Cybercrime Unit of the Hyderabad Police successfully apprehended a 22-year-old man, identified as Surendra Choudary from Jaipur, Rajasthan, for operating a fraudulent Congress donation portal, ‘DonateINC.co.in.’ The fake website, mimicking the official Indian National Congress’s (INC) donation platform ‘DonateINC.net,’ was utilized by scammers to deceive individuals eager to contribute to the political party.

Fake website DonateINC.co.in screengrab

The investigation was initiated on January 10, following a complaint filed by Congress representatives, who reported the creation of a fake donations profile for their party. The complainants revealed that unsuspecting individuals, believing the site to be genuine, had already made donations. In a press release on Tuesday, the Cybercrime Police disclosed the successful exposure and arrest of the accused.

Joint Commissioner of Police, Cyber Crime, AV Ranganath, confirmed the arrest and stated, “The accused, Surendra Choudary, was operating the fake website DonateINC.co.in from Jaipur, Rajasthan.” The police team from Hyderabad traveled to Rajasthan to apprehend the perpetrator and dismantle the illicit operation.

 

This incident follows a similar cyber hurdle faced by Congress on December 18 when their crowdfunding campaign ‘Donate for Desh’ encountered a domain-related challenge. The BJP swiftly purchased the domain ‘DonateforDesh.org’ after Congress announced the campaign, redirecting all Congress donors to the BJP’s donation page.

In response to these developments, Supriya Shrinate, a prominent Congress leader and Chairperson for the party’s social media and digital platforms, accused the BJP of “copying” their initiative and “creating fake domains to confuse people.” In light of these challenges, Congress has redirected supporters to their official campaign domain, donateinc.net, to mitigate confusion and maintain the integrity of their fundraising efforts.

The Cybercrime Unit has urged the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious online activities to prevent falling victim to similar scams. The accused, Surendra Choudary, will face charges related to cyber fraud, impersonation, and fraudulent online activities. The Hyderabad Police have reassured the public that they will continue to work diligently to identify and apprehend individuals engaged in cybercrimes across the region.

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