A new fake WhatsApp message is doing the rounds claiming that the government of India will provide free internet access to 100 million users for three months. This is a fake message and the Press Information Bureau (PIB) has also flagged the message as fraud saying that the government has made no such announcement. The message also carries a link that is likely a malicious link and could be used to trick users into stealing their personal data. PIB tweeted the details about the fake message on June 1, alongside a short video highlighting the content of the message. The video shows that the message tells users that the offer is available for Jio, Airtel, and Vi users till June 29.
The WhatsApp message falsely claims that the government is giving free internet access to users of Jio, Airtel, and Vi. It also includes a fraudulent link that takes to a website asking personal details about users. From the video shared by PIB, the website looks fake itself and should be easy for most users to figure out by just looking at it. The government has also advised users to not open suspicious links such as the one available in this fake WhatsApp message.
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
Recently, a fake message claiming that the government may have control over users’ WhatsApp was doing the rounds on the Facebook-owned instant messaging app. The message said, “Two blue ticks, and one red tick means the government can take action, while three red ticks will mean the government has started court proceedings against you.” It came amid a legal tussle between the government and WhatsApp over the messaging app’s latest terms of service and the government’s recently-introduced IT rules in the country.