New Delhi (Vishvas News): A viral message on social media, claims that the government is giving free smartphones to students during the corona pandemic. The message is shared with a link for registration.
Vishvas News received this claim for fact check on its WhatsApp chatbot (+91 95992 99372). Our investigation revealed the claim is fake. More or less similar claims like government distributing free laptops are viral in recent times.
This viral message shared with a link reads, “Schools and colleges have been closed due to Corona virus and because of this the students’ education has been affected. Hence providing free Android smartphones to all students… You can fill the form to get your free smartphone from this link: http://bit.ly/Register-Free-Smartphone-Link.
We found this message even on Twitter. Twitter User Brand Krishna with 500 followers, have posted this tweet. The archived version of this tweet can be seen here .
Vishvas News first tried to find this claim on the Internet with the help of the necessary keywords. If the government had announced to give free Android smartphone to all the students, this would have been big news. We did not find any authentic report that confirms the claim. In contrast, we found article that alerted people not to believe such rumours. Vishvas News investigated the link shared with the message. This is a link to Blogspot, which can be created by any random user. The link requests to fill in personal information like name and contact number. It claims that he last date for filling the form is 10 October. We could identify the linguistic inaccuracies (below, October) in the display message.
For the purpose of investigation, we continued by filling the indicative information. In the next step, we were asked to share it with 10 people on WhatsApp. We could confirm that it merely an attempt to promote the link and distribute hits with clickbait.
Vishvas News had earlier fact checked a similar post that claimed Government to provide Rs 9,000 due to pandemic. The National Informatic Center (NIC) UP official told us to alert people not to click on any such blog link. That fact check story can be seen here.
We sent this viral link to cyber security expert Ayush Bhardwaj. He checked this link and said that it is a clickbait link and the user might be in danger of data theft. Aayush, explained to us that control of malware accessed in your mobile can be achieved with such clickbait. Personal information can be stolen and sold on the Dark Web (hackers and cyber fraudsters use the Dark Web). User can be financially harmed by hacking eWallet.
Social scanning of the twitter account that shared the viral message revealed that it has 491 followers and is active since August 2020.
Conclusion: The viral message is fake. Government is not providing free smartphones to all students amid the corona pandemic. Viral claim is fake. Cyber experts have warned about clicking on unknown links.
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