WhatsApp has been a breeding ground for phishing activities and spreading malicious links, and the latest trick tries to cash in on PM Narendra Modi’s recent monetary reforms in the country. A fake link claiming that PM Modi wants to give free recharge worth Rs. 500 to everyone in the country has been circulating on WhatsApp. We would like to shout out that the link is fake, and could potentially be a phishing technique. Divulging any personal details on the site or even clicking on the link could make you vulnerable to an attack.
The fake link with the URL – http://balance.modi-gov.in/ – has been in circulation on WhatsApp for the past few weeks, claiming to give free recharge of Rs. 500. By clicking on the link, a user is taken to a webpage with all the major telecom companies’ logod. The words ‘Desh Badal Raha Hai’ take centre space, and the website asks you to fill in information like mobile number, operator, and state. Once you fill in all the details and press the Recharge Now button, it takes you to a new page asking you to share the link with 15 friends.
We urge you to not fill any of this information, as the website is a fake one, made probably by hackers that could use this information unethically. Also, the Terms and Conditions written at the bottom of the Home Page reads, “We are not connected to any telecom company” further testifying to its bogus nature.
A similar fake WhatsApp message went viral when WhatsApp first introduced video calling to all its users. A link indicating that users need an invite to activate video calling went viral on WhatsApp, with many users falling prey to it. The website had fake screenshots of video calling as well to dupe WhatsApp users.
We reiterate that these links could be malicious and we strongly recommend you not to click it at all, let alone share it with friends. Please understand that such easy rewards are often used as fake baits to get users sensitive data and compromise on their privacy. Never click any such link, or download any such software.