Is Jio Giving Away Free T-Shirts As New Year Offer? Hell No!
A scam doing the rounds on WhatsApp recently is a website that is offering one lakh free Jio T-Shirts.
A scam doing the rounds on WhatsApp recently is a website that is offering one lakh free Jio T-Shirts. (Photo: Altered by The Quint)

Is Jio Giving Away Free T-Shirts As New Year Offer? Hell No!

Don’t fall for fake news, <a href="https://www.thequint.com/news/webqoof">click here</a> to check out <b>The Quint</b>’s WebQoof stories.
Don’t fall for fake news, click here to check out The Quint’s WebQoof stories.

Reliance Jio, one of the fastest growing mobile networks in India, has been adopted by scores of people for its attractive prices and discount offers.

But with its rising popularity, Jio has been exposed to a litany of scams as fake websites use the network operator’s name for offering deals and freebies to unsuspecting users.

One such scam that’s been doing the rounds on WhatsApp recently is a website that is offering one lakh free Jio T-Shirts.

WhatsApp message with a link to the scam website.
WhatsApp message with a link to the scam website.
(Photo: Screenshot sent to WebQoof by a reader)

The text shared with the link reads: “Jio के 20 करोड़ ग्राहक पुरे होने की ख़ुशी में jio के निर्माता मुकेश अम्बानी जी ने इस नए साल के अबसर पर अपने 1 लाख ग्राहकों को फ्री टी-शर्ट उपहार में देने का बादा किया है तो अगर आपके पास भी जिओ की सीम है तो अभी निचे नीली रंग के लिंक पर क्लिक करके अपना फॉर्म भरे और फ्री टी-शर्ट प्राप्त करे |

पास jio की सिम है तो टी-शर्ट लेने के लिए आप उस सिम का भी प्रयोग कर सकते हो और फॉर्म भरने की अंतिम तिथि 10 जनवरी है

(Jio owner Mukesh Ambani will provide free T-shirts on the occasion of New Year to 1 lakh Jio customers. If you have Jio sim then click on the blue link to fill up the form to get a free T-shirt. If any of your family members is also using a Jio sim card, then you can register from that phone as well. The last date to fill up a form is 10 January).”

Similar websites that used Jio in their domain names (http://jiohappynewyear.xyz/ and http://freejiophone2foryou.blogspot.com/ ) were used to dupe people as they can be confused for real reward programs.

HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK?

The URL directs the user to a simple form. After filling in your name, mobile number, pin code and address, you are asked for the colour and size preference for the free T-shirt.

Landing page of the fake Jio T-shirt contest.
Landing page of the fake Jio T-shirt contest.
(Photo: Screenshot of the fake website)

After this, you are directed to a portal asking you to share the link to the contest with ten of your friends on WhatsApp.

You are asked to share the link of the contest with 10 contacts on WhatsApp.
You are asked to share the link of the contest with 10 contacts on WhatsApp.
(Photo: Screenshot of the fake website)

In the next step, the end goal of the scam, you are asked to download an app from the Google Play Store.

After sharing, you are asked to download this App from the Google Play Store.
After sharing, you are asked to download this App from the Google Play Store.
(Photo: Screenshot of the Google Play Store)

The assumption is that the end goal of this quiz was to boost the number of downloads of an app. Developers and creators can purchase a service online to boost the sales of an app.

SOME OTHER WHATSAPP SCAMS

A Quiz that Offers Rs 1,000 on Paytm

A scam had been doing the rounds recently which claimed that a simple four-question quiz could earn you Rs 1,000 as Paytm cash.

Read more about it here.

99 Percent Off Amazon Sale

A message offering massive discounts on the Amazon online mall was shared widely on WhatsApp recently. The message claimed to offer up to 99 percent discount on a variety of products.

Read more about it here.

Various other WhatsApp scams were also reported last year, like the Ayushman Bharat scam. A viral message asked WhatsApp users to apply on a website to enjoy benefits of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana.

HOW TO SPOT A FAKE WEBSITE/SCAM

There are some easy steps you can take to check the authenticity of the website:

  • HTTP = Bad, HTTPS = Good: Never trust an HTTP website with your personal information. The ‘S’ in https:// stands for secure and indicates that the website uses encryption to transfer data, protecting it from hackers.
  • Check for easy markers such as spelling mistakes, typos or broken links and site loops.
  • Look for the copyright information at the bottom of the page. That usually helps.
  • Look up the domain age: Fake websites usually don’t last long and have fairly new domains. You can look up more information about the domain using Domain Big Data.
  • Look for reliable contact information: Look for several ways to contact the company (phone, email, live chat, address) and try them out.
  • Walk away from deals that are too good to be true: And last but not the least, know that nobody will hand you cash or deals that are too good to be true. Just walk away.

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