Cybercrime alert! This fake 'Government' website collects personal data in pretext of offering loans
Avneet Kaur February 23, 2021
A website, impersonating as a Government website 'Pradhan Mantri Yojana Loan' with the url - www.pradhanmantriyojanaloan.com - claims to provide loans under the 'Pradhan Mantri Yojana' in exchange for personal identifiable information, such as Aadhaar card details, that can potentially be misused online. The website has numerous spelling and grammatical errors.
On the 'Contact Us' page of the website, there is a scanned image of a fake authority letter with the Government of India stamp. The scanned image is full of errors. It deceptively writes Government as 'GOVERMENT', Kendra as 'KANDR' and India as 'INDAI'. Other words have been misspelled too. The scanned image writes National Informatics Centre as 'National Informatic Center'. When scanned, the QR code in the image shows a random UPI phonepe string. See the image below:
Earlier, an associated android application called, the 'Pradhan Mantri Yojana Loan' was also available on Google Play Store, but the same has been removed now.
The contact number on the website is switched off. An email sent to the email id mentioned on the website, firstname.lastname@example.org, remained undelivered.
A recent tweet by PIB Fact Check confirms the website is a sham. See the tweet below:
The word Yojana has been misspelled too as 'Yojna' at several places on the website.
Research by CyberPeace Foundation along with Autobot Infosec found that the user's activity on the app is not protected and an intent-filter exists. "The presence of an intent-filter indicates that the activity is explicitly exported, i.e., it is found to be shared with other apps on the device and can therefore be accessed by these apps with ease. The possible presence of a backdoor-like service cannot be discounted," says the report.
The report further adds that the website has an IP with past records for phishing attacks and malicious activities.
Here's what happens when you apply for a loan on the website: