Saturday, October 23, 2021
Saturday, October 23, 2021
HomeFact checkViralFake Message Claims Government Is Giving Rs. 2000 As Relief Funds To...

Fake Message Claims Government Is Giving Rs. 2000 As Relief Funds To Citizens

Claim 

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: 

https://www.facebook.com/kamalbasha007/posts/1647500092083441

More versions of this claim can be viewed here and here

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. 

Fact Check 

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

https://bit.ly/ind-relief

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. 

In the first question we were asked “Are you an Bonafide Indian Citizen?”
In the first question we were asked “Are you an Bonafide Indian Citizen?”

On clicking, “Yes I Am” to the first question “Are you an Bonafide Indian Citizen?” We were led to the following second question:

In the second question we were asked “How much can sustain you through out the lockdown?”
In the second question we were asked “How much can sustain you through out the lockdown?”

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. 

In the third question we were asked “What will you use your free Rs.2000 for?”
In the third question we were asked “What will you use your free Rs.2000 for?”

Next in the line of questions, we were asked: “What will you use your free Rs.2000 for?” We select the second option, food. 

The above screenshot shows we are eligible for the free relief fund.
The above screenshot shows we are eligible for the free relief fund.

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:

The number of likes and comments on this Facebook look-alike section doesn’t change at all.
The number of likes and comments on this Facebook look-alike section doesn’t change at all.

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. 

Conclusion

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. 

Tools Used

  • Google advanced search
  • Twitter advanced search

Result: False

If you would like us to fact check a claim, give feedback or lodge a complaint, WhatsApp us at 9999499044. You can also visit the Contact Us page and fill the form.

Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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