Beware of Fake Calls and Scams related to Coronavirus Vaccine Registration. Fake callers pretending as government health officials ask for your personal details, send OTP and clear your bank balance.
కరోనా వ్యాక్సిన్ గురించి మీకు ఫోన్ కాల్స్ లేదా సందేశాలు రావచ్చు, టీకా కోసం రిజిస్ట్రేషన్ చేయడానికి మీ ఫోన్ నంబర్ మరియు ఆధార్ నంబర్ను అడగవచ్చు, అలాగే రిజిస్ట్రేషన్ కోసం OTP నంబర్ను అడగవచ్చు, మీరు సమాచారం అందిస్తే, మీ బ్యాంక్ ఖాతా ఖాళీ కావచ్చు . జాగ్రత్తగా & భద్రంగా ఉండండి.
Some messages doing rounds on social media warn Indians about fake calls and scams related to registration for Coronavirus vaccination. Fake callers pretend as health officials from government and ask personal details, send OTP and can clear your bank balance thereafter. So, let us find out how the scams are working and stay safe from them during the pandemic time.
About the Fake Calls & Scams for Coronavirus Vaccine Registration
In late December 2020, some citizens in Madhya Pradesh alerted officials about calls asking to ‘book Covid vaccine for Rs 500’. The callers claimed to be from the Ministry of Health, asking people to sign up by downloading an app or through a shared OTP. They said the COVID-19 vaccine will be provided as a first-come, first-served basis. They also said once the vaccine reaches the market “it will cost thousands or even lakhs of rupees as everyone will want one“. After convincing people this way, the scammers sought bank account details on the pretext of registration charges. Some lured people into downloading a mobile app using a link sent through email or SMS. The so-called app is in fact screen-sharing software. It allows scammers to dupe people and steal their banking details from their devices. This way, the scammers loot money from unsuspecting citizens.
After receiving some such complaints, the Madhya Pradesh police cyber cell issued a public advisory. It alerted about the fake calls made to citizens asking them to pay Rs 500 and get themselves registered to receive the Coronavirus vaccine in the first phase. Apart from the fake calls, cyber criminals are also sending phishing mails to ‘Book’ early slot for vaccination. Similar fraudsters surfaced in other parts of India like Haryana, Hyderabad and Telangana. They are targeting gullible citizens on the pretext of registration for Covid-19 vaccine. Earlier, Interpol also issued a global alert to law enforcement agencies about likely “falsification, theft and illegal advertising of COVID-19 flu vaccines” by criminals.
About the Registration Process in India
For your information, India has already started registration process for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available. In the first phase, vaccination will be given to priority group category. It includes health workers, frontline workers, people above the age of 50 and those under 50 but suffering from co-morbid conditions. On 26th December 2020, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation launched online portal ahmedabadcity.gov.in for COVID-19 vaccine registration. You can find out who can register and how on Mint website livemint.com.