Mumbai : In an effort to protect student interests, the officials of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research, Maharashtra (DMER) on Monday on finding out that a fake website duplicating the state medical education department’s original one was afloat , immediately, informed the cyber police cell, to have the criminals behind this fake reflection tracked down and arrested. The DMER officials who were prompt in taking action against the scammers feared that these cybercriminals might be trying to target medical aspirants and for money promising admissions to lucrative medical colleges.
A DMER directive on the original website states: “It has been observed that a fake site has been launched under the domain ofwww.dmergov.org. This office is not responsible for any information published on it.”
Interestingly, While the official website is registered as www.dmer.org , the fake one happens to be quite much close to it with a similar address running as- www.dmergov.org. The similarity making it easy for laymen getting fooled.
“The fake website looks very similar to our original website. In fact, they have used the original DMER office logo claiming it to be a government of Maharashtra website. The fake website also provides information including NEET exams dates and other details, and vacancies in 21 government and BMC-run medical colleges in the state,” Joint Director, DMER, Dr. TP Lahane told Pune Mirror.
“We have lodged a complaint with the cyber police to investigate. As soon as we put out information or upload any circular on our original website, you can instantly see the same information on the fake one. We have also observed that a few fake circulars have been uploaded using forged signatures of our director Pravin Shingare,” added Dr Lahane.
Expressing concern about the possibility of the fake website targeting students and facilitating online money transfers from them the DMER authorities felt that the cyber police’s first priority lay in tracking any such occurrence if happening.
The DMER’s website manager’s who conducted an initial investigation discovered that the fake website had been manually copied and a WordPress software used to build the site. The team also discovered that the portal’s domain name had been registered on December 6 and that its privacy record was also protected.
Besides giving the site a good design the scammers had also seemed to have spent money to procure a premium slot on Google Search engine, resulting in a huge number of hits, in a matter of days after having registered. The premium slotting resulting in the fake website’s name be thrown up over and above the original’s.
“We have also put a warning on the DMER website alerting citizens about this fake website. A majority of our site users are students and a bogus website like this can easily mislead them, and spoil their career with just one wrong information. We have asked the cyber police to block the site immediately,” added Dr Lahane.