A new message has been doing the rounds on Whats App, asking users to click on the given link and enjoy free 4 G unlimited data and voice calls for a period of one year. How we wish it was true, but sadly it’s not. In fact, if you receive any such message be cautious as it is nothing more than one of those fraudulent messages sent by cyber thieves to dig into your personal information and make money out of it.
Ever since the country has got the taste of free 4 G internet with Reliance Jio, other telecom operators are facing the heat, trying their level best to match rates and offer irresistible deals to make sure customers stay back. While top telecom players in India are offering irresistible data plans at cheaper rates, they still cannot beat the Jio offer, which is absolutely free for another four months till March 31, 2017.
The message reads that the top telecom player is now offering unlimited data and voice calls and in order to enroll yourself, you need to apply online and generate a bar code similar to how Jio worked. The message further reads that one can get a free SIM card with 10 Mbps speeds on 4 G along with free voice calls and SMS for one whole year with BSNL 4 G ExPress SIM. The message is a hoax, features a big scam and the link in the message and does not lead you to the BSNL website. In fact, if you closely look at the URL in the message, the ‘L’ in ‘BSNL’ is a capital ‘i’, which takes you to the http://bsni.co/sim/ website.
Once you hit the link, you will be taken to the browser which reads http://bsni.co/sim/ check the URL in the browser’s address bar. On the page, you will see the ad for the 4 G ExPress SIM card and you will be asked to enter details such as name, address, phone number and state you live in. Surprisingly, as a test, we chose Gujarat, which had a spelling mistake in it (see screenshot).
The next screen will then inform you that you need to generate a bar code and verify your address, but in order to proceed you would need to send the invitation to 10 more friends or groups on Whats App. After sending the message to 10 groups (the website checks the count and won’t allow you to bluff), the next screen asks you to install an app to verify the mobile number you provided. The message also tells you not to uninstall the app for three days and to allow the website at least 12 hours to verify the app installation. Clicking on the link will take you to the Google Play Store and you would have to install the app from there. Further on, nothing happens and you finally find out that you were duped. Although you did not pay for anything, you have successfully sent the scam all your details such as name, number and address.
A few days ago, a similar scam with Airtel offering free unlimited data for three months had been doing the rounds. The scam is similar to this one, but the BSNL message looks more authentic. These types of scams are not new anymore. But what one needs to know is to be careful with such messages that seem too good to be true. Before hitting on such links, make sure you know the sender. Research online for a similar offer or information to make sure it is genuine. And if you find it fishy, you’d rather ignore or delete the message.