A Whatsapp message claims that the government is giving Rs.2000 as relief funds to all citizens. The message includes a link through which one can allegedly claim this amount instantly. Further, a note states that this is a one-time limited offer.
This claim has been widely shared on different social media platforms. See a few examples of it below:
We received this message on our Whatsapp verification number asking if it’s true. Read along to see how we found out this message is fake.
The claim in context reads as following:
“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
Note : You can only claim and get credited once and it’s also limited so get your now Instantly.“
As a first step, we clicked on the link in the message to see where it takes us. The landing page of the website greets its users with a big congratulations with related details.
On the site, we found a few details strange: Everytime we clicked on the link the number of “FREE Lockdown Relief packages” left remained 1,936. Second, the number of users who received their lockdown fund of Rs.2000 always started with 11,2416. Third, with “promotion active” written in green, the site’s footnote suggested the offer was valid only till 15 July.
On clicking, “Yes I Am” to the first question “Are you an Bonafide Indian Citizen?” We were led to the following second question:
Now with only one available option in the second question of “How much can sustain you throughout the lockdown?” we go ahead and click on Rs.2000.
Next in the line of questions, we were asked: “What will you use your free Rs.2000 for?” We select the second option, food.
That led us to the page shown in the above screenshot which congratulated us on being eligible for the free relief fund. Note, we’re two days past the “limited offer period of 15 July” at the time of writing this fact check. But before we received this amount, we were asked to use the green button and share this message with seven Whatsapp groups, not individual users, but only Whatsapp groups. After which we’d be asked our bank account number and name.
Additionally, to try and add authenticity, the site includes a screenshot of a Facebook comment section as well. We observed that the number of likes and comments on this Facebook look-alike section doesn’t change at all. See below:
Next, we attempted to select “No Am Not” to the first question on the landing page of the link. It led us through the exact same questions that were asked earlier with no change in options and congratulations on the eligibility once again.
Another point to notice: All our government websites and related links end with .gov.in or .nic.in whereas this webpage had the following URL: https://india-relieef.blogspot.com/.
Evidently, we could not find any related information about a Rs. 2000 relief fund for citizens on any government website either.
The official Twitter account of PIB in Assam debunked this claim calling it fake and stating that no such measures have been taken by the government.
Evidently, the claim in context about Rs.2000 being given to all citizens as relief funds is fake. Multiple reasons mentioned above including a debunk by PIB in Assam make it clear that this claim circulating on social media platforms, particularly, Whatsapp is false and created with an intention to mislead people.
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