A WhatsApp message claims that labourers who worked between 1991 and 2020 can receive the benefit of ₹1.2 lakh from the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Further, the message includes a link (https://relief-funds.googIe.cam) which allegedly includes names of those who can avail this benefit.
The exact message reads, “The workers who worked between the 1991 and 2020, have the right to receive the benefit of ₹120000 from Ministry of Labour and Employment. Check if your name is in the list of the people who have the rights to withdraw this benefits.”
Newschecker received a request to verify this claim on its Whatsapp helpline number ().
Fact Check / Verification
The link in the message took us to the following landing page with the title, “Ministry of Labour and Employment: Benefits available.”
On scrolling to the bottom of the page we noticed a notification of “Kule Kennedy is writing a comment…” consistently flashed even after refreshing the page multiple times at varying intervals. The timestamps of those who commented remained the same on multiple refreshes of the webpage. Additionally, the number of comments and shares always began with 153k and 337, respectively, on every refresh.
Please note that the official URL of the website of the Ministry of Labour and Employment is https://labour.gov.in/. Indian government websites usually end with gov.in or nic.in. Thereby, heightening our suspicion of the link in the Whatsapp message.
On clicking the “Continue” option on the landing page, the website asks for your name, following which it says that you’ve been qualified to obtain the Rs 1.2 lakh fund, and provides a three-step process to follow.
Further, we observed that the claim’s link if kept idle for over 5-7minutes redirects to the Google homepage.
Additionally, Press Information Bureau Fact-Check debunked this claim last year stating this the message is “#FakeNews! There is no such announcement by Govt. of India. Beware of such fraudulent websites.”
We also found a similar message circulated in South Africa in 2019. The South African Labour Department cautions “the public to be on alert of yet another new scam which promises workers who have worked between 1990 and 2019 that they have rights to get financial benefits from the Department.”
Our research makes it clear that the Whatsapp message and link included is fraudulent. There has been no such announcement by the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Press Information Bureau Fact-Check: https://twitter.com/PIBFactCheck/status/1260837730860306432
Department of Labour, South Africa: https://www.gov.za/speeches/public-%E2%80%93-scammers-3-apr-2019-0000#
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