No, PM Modi Isn’t Giving Free Masks Under Swachh Bharat Mission
A fake blogpost webpage is being circulated to claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is giving away free masks.
Amid the rising fear of coronavirus, a message claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is distributing free masks under the Swachh Bharat Mission is doing the rounds. The message comes along with a web page link which directs the users to a registration form to enter their details and get free masks until 15 March.
However, this website is fake. There are multiple red flags that a user should be mindful of while navigating through such websites. Let’s look at each of these one by one.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IT’S FAKE?
There are multiple clues with the website which prove that the website is fake. Firstly, the URL of the website is ‘pmmaskyojana.blogpost.com’ while the official website of Government of India is the National Portal of India (india.gov.in).
Secondly, the name of the prime minister is spelled as ‘Narendr Nodi’ and not ‘Narendra Modi’. Further, once a user clicks on the link they are directed to a page where they have to fill their personal details .
Upon scrolling down, the second part of the page has Terms and Privacy. Clicking on it takes the user to a page that offers a disclaimer saying that there is no such scheme being run on this site and the page is created just for fun.
Right below the Terms and Privacy is a section that keeps numbers running to show the increasing number of people availing the offer and urges users to order a free mask and become a part of Swachh Bharat.
At the end of the application form on the homepage is 'Order Now'.
The user can click on it even without filling the form and the page leads the user to a WhatsApp invite page that states, “Thank you for joining Swachh Bharat. To order your free mask and promote the party, you have to click on the green button below and share the message with five friends or group and then press 'Order Now'. You will receive your mask on the address you provided in two days.”
When the user clicks on the WhatsApp share button, which has to be done multiple times, the invite process completes and enables ‘Order Now’.
When the user clicks on the ‘Order Now’, it directs the user to a page that says, “Greetings! We have received your application worth Rs 25000. Click on the 'Verify' button to verify your number. We will contact you through the verified the number to send you Rs.25000”.
The user doesn't need to fill the contact number, the Verify button directs to a website called freekcash. The end goal for the entire process is perhaps to get more traffic to this website.
Evidently, a fake website is being used to lure and fool users claiming they will receive free masks.
(With inputs from SM HoaxSlayer)
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