The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), a non-government body that represents top telcos in India, including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, and Vodafone Idea (Vi), has issued an urgent statement alerting users about particular links and messages offering free recharge plans.
The telecom body has asked users to refrain from clicking on such links and messages. Such messages are making rounds in social media, saying that the Indian government is offering 100 million users free recharge plans for online studies.
However, COAI says that it is nothing more than a scam and is being rotated on the internet with fraudulent intent. Hence users are requested to avoid clicking on such links or messages and also not forward them to other people if they receive them.
The telecom body said that clicking on the link can result in loss of private information and data theft from the mobile device. If you receive such a message, kindly delete it and alert the person who forwarded it to you.
How to Keep Yourself Safe from Online Scams?
Due to the rise of social media and technology, online scams have become very common. Especially in India, where people don’t really question a lot of the stuff they see on the internet or WhatsApp, it has become easy for fraudsters to trick people.
Thus, to keep yourself safe from online scams, don’t blindly click on any link that you receive. That’s the golden rule you can make for yourself. Second, don’t fall for links or messages offering ‘free’ stuff; they are usually spam or frauds. Third, don’t forward unverified links to other people; this way, not only you but also your friends and family will remain safe.
Also, don’t give out your personal information such as one-time-passwords (OTPs) or bank details to strangers on the internet. A lot of fraudsters engage users in scam calls asking them to share OTPs and more such information.
The caution issued by COAI mentions is against a serious threat. If the scammers get any pivotal information from your mobile device, they can use it for illegal purposes. Thus, if you get such a link, delete it and never forward it to anyone else, even as a prank.