Mumbai cyber cell busts fake website racket; arrests six for cheating 10,000 people of Rs 10 crore


Mumbai: The cyber cell of the Mumbai Police department on Wednesday arrested six members of a gang running an online fake website racket. The group has cheated as many as 10,000 people, according to the police, and duped them to the tune of more than Rs 10 crore.

A team of Mumbai Police’s cyber cell has nabbed the six accused from Bhopal and West Bengal, an official informed mediapersons in the city.

According to the cops, the gang had set up fake websites of 125 renowned e-commerce companies and lured netizens to it by popping their advertisements on social media platforms like Facebook.

“If you click on those links, it takes you to a fake website, which is so similar to the original one that a common man tends to fail to distinguish between the real and the fraudulent website,” the official said.

He continued, “For example, if it’s a website about getting an LPG dealership, it will seek all the general information such as identity proofs and other documents for registration purposes. It will then ask to deposit a certain amount along with following some more steps, which is done even on an authentic website. People usually fill up all the details and deposit the money, and then get to know of the scam only later.”

A similar offence was registered with the cyber cell on December 15 wherein a person was duped of Rs 3.5 lakhs, which was only half of the total sum that was demanded, the official added.

While six people have been arrested related to the online scam, a search for others is also underway. Further investigation on 123 websites is also being carried out.

The cyber cell department appealed to the citizens to not open links or call on phone numbers which they see on social media platforms or receive as text messages. “If you want to access a particular website, instead of clicking on the given link, you can actually browse for it on your search engine, which will take you to the authentic site,” the official advised.

“If one finds anything suspicious or receives any such links or numbers, they should immediately contact the cyber cell for assistance,” he added.

New Year 2021: Government’s ‘gifts’ to citizens of India

Happy New Year 2021

As the nation steps into the New Year on Friday, the Government of India has some gifts for Indians in the form of deadline extensions, that will undoubtedly bring in some much-needed relief for citizens at the start of 2021. If procrastination is an art you’ve mastered, then this one is definitely for you. While the end of the year is majorly marked with fulfilling goals, making it to the various deadlines and filing tax returns, the Centre has now decided to extend these deadlines by several days into the new year, thus allowing people more time to wrap up their work in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

As India welcomes 2021, here are six ‘gifts’ that the government has in store for citizens:

Income Tax Returns

The Centre on Wednesday extended the deadline for filing the Income Tax returns for the assessment year 2020-21 (fiscal year 2019-2020). According to the Ministry of Finance’s Revenue Department, the deadline for filing ITR by taxpayers has been extended till January 10. The previous deadline for filing of returns was December 31. This is the third time the deadline for filing income tax returns has been extended.

Income Tax Returns (For unaudited accounts)

The deadline for companies and individuals who need to get their accounts audited has been extended by 15 days till February 15, 2021. The timeline for tax audits has also been extended to January 15, 2021. India has been considerate and liberal to grant extensions for return filings owing to the pandemic, the Centre said.

GST Returns Deadline Extended

Not only Income Tax, but the Centre has also extended the deadline for filing GST annual returns for 2019-20 till February 28, 2021. A tweet by the IT Department said: “In view of the continued challenges faced by taxpayers in meeting statutory compliances due to outbreak of Covid-19, the Govt further extends the dates for various compliances.”

Mandatory FASTag gets a new deadline

The road transport ministry has extended the deadline for 100% collection of toll charges on the National Highway (NH) network through FASTag till February 15. Earlier, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had announced to completely do away with cash transactions for paying toll charges from January 1.

Life Certificate submission by pensioners

In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the retirement fund body, Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has extended the deadline for pensioners for submission of Life Certificate to 28 February. The statement released by Ministry of Labour and Employment said, “Due to the vulnerability of the elderly population to coronavirus, EPFO has extended the time limit up to February 28, 2021, for submission of Life Certificate (Jeevan Pramaan Patra-JPP) in respect of the pensioners drawing pension under Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) 1995 and whose Life Certificate is due in any month till February 28, 2021.”

Vivad se Vishwas Scheme

The government has extended the deadline for the payment of direct tax disputes under the Vivad Se Vishwas scheme till March 31, 2021. However, according to the notification, taxpayers have to declare the disputed amount by December 31, 2020, even if they make the payment by March 31, 2021.

Driving licence validity extended

Your expired driving licence will now be valid till March 31, 2021. The government on Monday announced further extension till March 31 for validity of motor vehicle documents, including driving licences and vehicle fitness certificates, in view of Covid-19 pandemic. This will also come as relief for passenger transport vehicles — autos, taxis etc who need not worry about expired documents/certificates.

IRCTC’s upgrades e-ticketing website

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday launched an upgraded version of the e-ticketing website of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which has personalised features. Pegging it to have best-in-class features, the Railways offered it as a “New Year gift to passengers.” The upgraded and enhanced e-ticketing website and Mobile App aims to provide best in class user experience amongst various other online travel and ticketing websites.


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