The Cyber police have initiated investigations into a fake website of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

The senior officials of BSE had registered an FIR two days ago against an unknown person. They suspect the site was online for a few days. Investigators suspect that the site could be the handiwork of some tech savvy miscreants operating online, who wanted to make a quick buck by getting maximum page hits/visits by creating the fake version of a popular site.

An officer of the Cyber police at Bandra Kurla Complex said a case under relevant sections of Information Technology (IT) Act was registered against an unknown person for impersonation. Police are trying to find the Internet Protocol (IP) address through which the accused committed the crime, and have written to the service provider for information regarding the same.

While explaining why someone would create a fake website, another officer said that BSE is one of the most popular sites that online traders visit. “The accused, in order to get maximum page visits, created a similar website and just changed a few letters in the original domain name,” said an officer.

Later the accused possibly bought a premium slot from Google’s search engine, so if anyone searched for BSE, the fake website’s link would come up prominently, said the officer. Since all the features and content of the original website were duplicated on the fake site, people would spend time on the site unaware that it was a fake.

The culprit would then claim money from Google by selling space on its popular fake website, which by then had recorded thousands of page visits.

Another motive behind the crime could be a data selling racket, in which the culprit can put few features on a fake website, which could encourage people to fill up their basic details like full name, date of birth, address, e-mail ID, etc., to claim some freebies or offers, police said. The culprit could then illegally sell this customer data at high rates to companies which are ready to pay any amount to obtain customer data of people who are into stock trading.

An officer confirmed that the website has been blocked. “But no person has approached us yet, complaining that he or she was duped through a fake BSE website. Hence we believe that the site was not made to directly cheat people,” he added.

When asked about a breakthrough in the case, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), Atulchandra Kulkarni refused to respond.