COVID-19 pandemic has taken a massive toll on people's finances. Between businesses running and people losing jobs amid COVID lockdown, people have been through a financial crisis. Although various government schemes were launched to help the needy, viral forward messages claiming unheard schemes where money is being offered to people by the government of India are being widely circulated. One such forward, claiming to offer Rs 1.3 lakh per month for six months is making people fall into a vicious trap.
WhatsApp users are receiving a widely-circulated forward message from an unknown source, claiming to offer a lucrative government scheme. The message uses a luring tone to attract the attention of users and uses the Indian Government's name as a way to add credibility.
The message promises to offer Rs 1,30,000 per month for 6 months under a Government Emergency Cash scheme. With a link included in the viral message, the recipients are encouraged to click on it as it says it takes no more than a few seconds to apply. To add a sense of legitimacy to the claim, the message says the funds are being given to citizens to help them get through COVID-19.
The message is being circulated widely on WhatsApp, which has millions of users in India. And the forward message comes from a trusted contact, which makes on assume it is legit.
International Business Times reviewed the viral message and cross-verified the information with credible sources. After a thorough investigation, it becomes clear that the government of India or the Ministry of Finance has offered no such scheme called Government Emergency Cash to help citizens in the event of COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, PIB Fact Check debunked the claims made in the viral forwarded message on WhatsApp. In fact, it even flagged the message to be a scam. At the very least, it is a way to lure people into giving them their personal information, which can be misused in many ways.
This WhatsApp forward claiming that @FinMinIndia is providing emergency cash where recipients will receive Rs 1,30,000 per month for 6 months is #FAKE!— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) July 29, 2021
❌Don't believe this message
❌Don't forward such links
❌Never disclose personal information on such websites#PIBFactCheck pic.twitter.com/3okZwNHyhA
WhatsApp's wide reach makes it an ideal platform for scammers to spread non-sensical schemes. This new message promising to offer Rs 1.3 lakh per month for 6 months is just that and recipients are strictly advised not to click on the link in the message and avoid forwarding it further.
IBTimes has arrived at the conclusion that no such scheme is being operated by the Ministry of Finance anywhere in India.