A WhatsApp message doing the rounds on the instant messaging platform claims that the government has approved a free Rs 2,000 relief fund for every citizen.
The message comes with a website url ‘ https://bit.ly/india-relief’. It asks readers to click on this link to claim the amount.
“The Government has finally approved and have started giving out free Rs.2,000 Relief Funds to each citizen. Below is how to claim and get yours credit Instantly as I have just did now https://bit.ly/india-relief Note : You can only claim and get credited once and it’s also limited so get your now Instantly (sic),” reads the entire message.
A concerned reader shared the message with Times Fact Check on our WhatsApp number wanting to know its authenticity.
The claim made in the message is fake.
VERIFICATION AND METHODOLOGY
The url ‘ https://bit.ly/india-relief’ looks dubious for a couple of reasons. First, it transforms into ‘ https://india-fundds.blogspot.com/’ . Second, government run portals normally end with ‘nic.in’ or ‘gov.in’.
Irrespective of the number of times you click on this url throughout the day, it always says ‘Left 1936 FREE lockdown relief packages’.
On clicking the link, it asks three questions: are you a bonafide Indian citizen, how much can sustain you throughout the lockdown, what will you use your free Rs 2,000 for.
Regardless of the options you select you will still be redirected to a page that says ‘Congratulations, you are eligible for the free Rs.2,000 lockdown relief funds.’
The page further asks you to click the green button “SHARE” and send this to 7 Whatsapp Groups. It then says that you will be asked for account number and bank name to receive the Rs 2,000 cash.
Irrespective of the number of times you share, the names of the ‘beneficiary users’, the number of ‘likes’ (2,04,208) and ‘comments’ (1,73,330) remain the same
So many red flags are enough to prove that the link is indeed dubious. And it is for the same reason it is advisable to not share your bank account details with it.
Furthermore, we looked up several government portals and reliable news sites and found no report of Indian government approving a Rs 2,000 relief fund for all citizens.
Times Fact Check has found that the url of a dubious website is being circulated with a false claim that the government has sanctioned Rs 2,000 relief fund for every citizen.