Vaccination protects you but does not give you free talk time
A message on WhatsApp is going viral in India. The message says so “All Indian users will receive a free top-up for three months in the joy of having record vaccinations in the country. If you have a Jio, Airtel or Vi SIM card, you can take advantage of this offer.” At the end of the message thread there is a link through which you can use the said top-up. However, the good times end as soon as you tap the link as the people who fall for the message get scammed.
No telecom company has officially confirmed the launch of a 3-month free top-up in the name of record vaccinations, the WhatsApp message claims. The links provided in such messages usually direct the user to various screen sharing apps that allow these scammers full access to the user’s mobile phone. It is more than likely that innocent people who otherwise would not know about such scams could fall for it. One must be aware that their banking details, login details and personal/sensitive information can be stolen very easily using such deceptive methods.
What should one do?
Even if such news seems very convincing and of course very lucrative, it is always advisable to check such offers. After all, if the mentioned telecom companies offered 3 months free service, they wouldn’t want to advertise it only on WhatsApp, would they? They would post it on their respective official websites and their social media addresses, and you would surely know about such an offer through other avenues like TV and radio and not just WhatsApp forwarding.
If you are aware of such fraudulent activity, we also encourage you to make others aware of it. Finally, if you receive such a message from someone you know, you can let them know that such messages are nothing but a scam and stop them from sharing such messages.