Given the rapid hike in the deadly COVID-19 in India, the government is running the vaccination drive on a large scale. This has led to fake drives and people falling in to these scams.
The most recent one that has caught the attention of many authorities and agencies is a WhatsApp forward that claims that COVID-19 vaccination appointment can be booked through WhatsApp.
The image claims that there is a phone number integrated with the government’s CoWIN vaccine management system and that 4 slots can be booked at one time. It further asks users to keep their name, age, Aadhaar card handy.
“All Indian citizens over 45 are eligible. Book both 1st and and 2nd dose,” the viral message reads.
The Press Information Bureau (PIB) has alerted the people of India about this WhatsApp forward, saying that the claim is fake. The PIB, in an advisory, said that the registrations for COVID-19 vaccination can only be done through the Co-WIN portal and Aarogya Setu app, further advising people to be wary of the scam.
A WhatsApp forward that claims that “Corona Vaccine appointment can be made via WhatsApp.” “It’s simple and easy to use like chatting,” the forward said. The image asks users to send a “Hi” message to a number (9745697456) and follow the steps that it told. It also asked users for their Aadhaar details, and give a pin code for which they want to search a hospital. It is not known as to how many people actually fell for the scam, but it does seem like something that can easily make people in the country fall for it.
An image claiming that COVID-19 #Vaccination appointment can be booked through #WhatsApp is circulating on social media. #PIBFactCheck: This claim is #Fake.
Registration for #COVID19 vaccination can be done only through the COWIN portal and Arogya Setu app. pic.twitter.com/HmqvpraDlo
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) April 12, 2021
The government has said that Indians can register themselves for the COVID-19 vaccine via the Co-WIN portal, which can also be accessed on the Aarogya Setu app. The government of India is facilitating the vaccines for all Indians above the age of 45 currently.
Meanwhile, India registered 1,52,879 fresh infections reported since yesterday, setting another grim one-day record as the country’s COVID-19 tally reached over 1.33 crore cases on Sunday. 839 deaths in the last 24 hour pushed the total death count to 1.69 lakh.
In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to give COVID-19 vaccine jabs to maximum eligible people, India will hold the second day of the mass COVID-19 vaccination festival, ‘Tika Utsav’, on Monday.