Scammers out there have a set weapon these days – WhatsApp. From banking scams, to malware attacks, many attempts are made towards exploiting gullible users via WhatsApp. 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 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.
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. In the first phase, the government prioritised healthcare and frontline workers to get vaccinated, while the second phase was initiated for citizens above the age of 60 and with 45 year-olds with co-morbidities.