After Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister Of India, announced a financial package for poor to help them amidst these testing and tough times of coronavirus, a message claiming Jio is giving away free recharge went viral on several social media platforms.
Many people on both Facebook and Whatsapp have claimed that by sharing and clicking on this link, people would get free recharge of rupees 498, immediately from Jio.
“Jio free recharge Rs 498 all users” reads the claim.
Jio free recharge Rs 498 all users সবিশেষ জানিবলৈ ইয়াত ক্লীক কৰক
This post had more than 150 comments where users constantly kept pitching in their mobile phone numbers to avail this free recharge. Since most of them thought it to be true, they shared it too so that more and more people could use this free service.
Here’s another Facebook post with 500+ shares:
*Jio* इस कठिन परिस्थिति में दे रहा है सभी इंडियन यूजर को *₹498* रूपए का फ्री रिचार्ज. तो अभी नीचे दी गई लिंक पर क्लिक…
Not only was Facebook involved in rapidly sharing this post but also Twitter and Whatsapp.
Archived version of the same can be seen here
This story is false and that is something that we can all figure out by the way the link has been established. We all know Jio operates from its app and not through these unknown links. Had this post been true, the announcement would have been made official in the form of ads. Since there is no such evidence floating on the internet, this claim turns out to be completely false.
Jio took to its official Twitter handle to confirm that there is no such service or free facility offered from its end.
Jio does not send such messages/calls. All Jio offer related information is transparently available in your MyJio app or on https://t.co/j7Fw92n4et. Pls watch out for spam messages & scammers – Kashypi
— JioCare (@JioCare) March 24, 2020
This was written in reply to one of the posts spreading the same information.
These are usually WhatsApp/Telemarketing scams and the aim behind such a plan is usually to earn a lot of money. This is how these are processed:
There are generally two ways in which these scams are operated –
1- Such offers do not ask the users to pay any money so they think giving it a shot will not harm them in any manner as they might as well turn lucky if they worked well. So they often start with filling up forms, submitting and sharing it on other Whatsapp groups as directed. Since a lot of people send it on various groups, members of these groups also give it a try and this way a lot of people collectively register on the website in a very short span of time.
The owners of these websites then use these contacts of the registered users as database and sell it for telemarketing which further begin giving you calls on insurance offers, schemes, loans etc.
2- Advertisement on their home page which increases traffic through a lot of visits in less time. The owner earns on the basis of how many visitors view their website.
3. In the end, it asks you to install an app whihc actually is a malware, slows you mobile, pop ups advertisements and steals your data.
What can you do?
1- Check the URL of the website. A credible website will never have a complicated name with too many characters joined in a line making it longer than a usual URL. The government websites will mostly have “.gov” so it is easy to recognise when it is not a government website.
2- The right website will never ask you to share the link with 8-10 people or Whatsapp groups. It is a trap and you should be able to catch it the next time you find it.
3- On looking closely, you will be able to catch any grammatical errors and spelling mistakes which a properly made authentic website will not usually have.
4- The kind of ads and banners they run on their page will speak volumes.
Many such Scams were debunked earlier.