One post for hypertension medication carries a photo of journalist Rajdeep Sardesai and leads users to what appears to be an article by Sardesai on India Today’s page.
The other, which claims that renowned doctor Devi Shetty has found a medicine which has cured diabetes in over a million people, tells users to click on the post to get the cure for themselves.
(Swipe to view both claims.)
The post, purportedly by India Today, talks about a discovery related to hypertension.
But…?: Both posts lead to fraudulent websites that do not have accurate information and collect user data.
How did we find out?
Post One - India Today, Rajdeep Sardesai and hypertension
The first post shows journalist Rajdeep Sardesai’s image, and says that the information in the post must be read by anyone with high blood pressure.
The graphic in the post itself reads that “our best scientists” have found a way to make hypertension “disappear once and for all,” and asks why pharmacies are silent about it.
Did India Today promote this article?: We clicked on the post, which led us to a website with the URL ‘inecuruhi.shop’, but the window showed an article purportedly written by Sardesai on India Today’s website.
The webpage carried an interview of one Ramchandra Bhargava Sapre. A simple reverse image search revealed that the photo being used was one of Jagdish Gandhi, an educator and the founder of Lucknow’s City Montessori School.
We also found that Ramchandra Bhargava Sapre was an Indian chess player who passed away in 1999.
A search for hypertension on India Today’s website did not show this article on the news organisation’s page.
‘Medicine’ for hypertension?: In the article, we saw the name ‘Cardioton’ being mentioned as a treatment option for hypertension. Using this as a keyword, we looked for more details on Cardioton.
This led us to the product being sold as a supplement – not treatment or cure – for cardiovascular health and performance. Its page on Amazon India did not mention hypertension at all.
Cardioton is a supplement manufactured by a company called Vokin Biotech, which was established in 2006 and is based out of Delhi.
As per its profile on ZaubaCorp, a trade data website, it has no connection to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), as mentioned on the website.
What does the webpage do?: Towards the end of this webpage, we saw a box saying that Cardioton was in short supply, and that a team at AIIMS was working to get the reader the best price of the medication.
It prompted us to spin a wheel to get Cardioton at a discounted rate, and we noticed that the wheel, regardless of where it stopped, turned to show 50 percent off.
After this step, the website asked for personal details such as name and phone number.
We entered dummy details in this section, which took us to a page mentioning that our request had been accepted.
What about the website?: Using domain identifier website ‘Who is’, we looked for more details about the ‘inecuruhi.shop’ website.
The page was created 26 days ago on 19 October, and is a recent page for a ‘medicine’ which claims to have cured many people.
We also noticed that the website was registered in Yerevan, Armenia and not India, as it would have been if it was a supplement or medicine produced/promoted by AIIMS.
Post Two - Dr Devi Shetty, Aaj Tak and a cure for diabetes
The second viral post that we came across shows Aaj Tak anchor Sudhir Chaudhary, along with a video of Dr Devi Shetty, the chairman of Narayana Health, a renowned hospital in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
In this post, it appears as if Chaudhary is talking about Dr Shetty finding a miracle cure for diabetes mellitus, claiming that over a million people have been treated and cured.
On careful observation, we noticed that the audio did not match Choudhary’s visuals, as his mouth appeared to move differently than they way it should have, had he been saying what was heard.
We ran a keyword search for Dr Devi Shetty’s articles on Aaj Tak, which led us to an article published in 2012.
This article discussed the impact of following a good diet for people, regardless of whether they had heart-related ailments.
What about the website?: The video urged people to click the link on the post, making similar claims as the previous post, about the medicine being in short supply due to high demand.
However, when we clicked on the link for further investigation, it did not lead us to an active webpage.
We noticed that the Facebook post reflected a website called ‘gravurifet.com’. Entering this URL into the domain identifier webpage, we saw that this site too, was a recently registered one and was not based in India.
It was registered on 18 September in Tempe, Arizona, USA.
Dr Shetty and diabetes: Lastly, we looked for Dr Shetty’s take on diabetes to check whether he had advocated for the use of a specific medicine for curing the condition.
This search led us to Narayana Nethralaya’s website, to a page titled ‘Reversing Diabetes Clinic’.
On this page, we found that the hospital spoke about having a dedicated team of experts to help people treat diabetes through appropriate treatment plans, but it did not mention a ‘wonder drug’.
The page also carried two versions of the same diet plan in different languages, with a FAQ section about the diet.
Conclusion: The posts do not carry any accurate or verified information about treating and curing diabetes or hypertension. One of them leads to a scam website which collects data and there is no record of the second ones existence.