New Delhi: With the rising penetration of smartphones coupled with cheaper internet, many Indians have now come online. As a result, scamsters are using newer ways to con Indians. In one such case, a malicious message claims that the Centre is providing free access to the internet to 10 crore Indians for three months. The message is circulating on the popular messaging platform, WhatsApp, for the past few days.
Taking cognisance, the Indian government has clarified that the message is spam. The message is shared with a malicious link. If you click on the link then there are chances that hackers may gain access to your smartphone’s data. They can also steal your personal or financial data.
In an official statement, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) has warned that the message offering free internet is a fraud. PIB raised an alert on the microblogging site, Twitter, and urged WhatsApp users to completely ignore such messages.
“The WhatsApp message claims that the Indian government is providing free internet facility to 100 million users for 3 months. This claim and link are Fake. No such announcement has been made by the Government of India. Beware of such fake websites,” PIB said in its Tweet.
Along with the tweet, PIB has attached a video to show how the malicious message appears. The spam message says that you’ll get free recharge after selecting your mobile number operator from Jio, Airtel, and Vi. Hackers are using Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo to gain user’s trust.
धोखाधड़ी से सावधान!#WhatsApp मैसेज में दावा किया गया है कि भारत सरकार 3 महीने के लिए 100 मिलियन उपयोगकर्ताओं को मुफ्त इंटरनेट सुविधा प्रदान कर रही है।#PIBFactCheck: यह दावा व लिंक #फ़र्ज़ी है। भारत सरकार द्वारा ऐसी कोई घोषणा नहीं की गयी है। ऐसे फ़र्ज़ी वेबसाइट से सतर्क रहें। pic.twitter.com/08iUNUbEOM
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) June 1, 2021
On the next page, you’re asked to fill in your personal details, which could be easily stored and stolen by hackers for scamming you or selling it to marketing firms on in the worst case, to other scamsters.
While many who have been using WhatsApp for a long time might catch the malicious message in the blink of an eye, a large section of society is still new to the internet and can easily fell into the trap for free offers. Therefore, it’s requested that you should aware your near ones of how they can safeguard themselves from such attacks.