WhatsApp message claiming free internet from government for three months is fake, PIB issues advisory

The fake message started making rounds on June 1.

WhatsApp platform is not new to fake messages and the recent one circulating among the app users claims that the government is apparently offering free internet access to people. According to the fake message, the government will be giving these services to 100 million users for three months. Taking note of this message, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) took to Twitter and flagged this message as fraudulent. According to PIB, the government has not made any such announcement. The message also contains a link that can be used maliciously and trick users for stealing their personal data.

Usually when certain links are circulated, it is advised that the users pay no heed to such messages and contact others regarding the scam. The government agency, while clarifying that the government is not involved in this, shared a video where the content of the message was highlighted. To be sure, the fake message started making rounds on June 1.

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In the video, it can be easily seen that the message is telling users about the offers which are available to Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone Idea users until June 29. The link included in the message lands on a website where personal details about users are asked. Therefore, PIB warned users to not give details on any such websites as it may risk their personal data.

Last week, WhatsApp said that the company has warned people regarding a fake message that wrongly indicates the government’s involvement in chat privacy and introduction of new ticks/ colours if the government has read your message. The company further said that WhatsApp chats are end-to-end encrypted and this means that no one can read the personal messages being sent on the platform. No government or third party has access to such messages.

In April too, a fake message circulated about the introduction of WhatsApp Pink that could have allowed attackers to get user data or access to their phones.

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