Since the time the coronavirus pandemic has taken a grip on the nation, the government of the country is trying to fight against its effects on the country. The government set up the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund). Any individual can give some contribution from their end towards dealing with the pandemic through the PM CARES Fund. There have been many Twitter as well as Facebook posts that are asking people to donate to the fund by going to the website named "pmcaresfund.online". However, does this link lead to the official PM CARES Fund page or is it a dupe?
As people are urging others to give their contribution to the PM CARES Fund, they are also sharing a site through which one can donate their money. The tweets show the website named "pmcaresfund.online". The page has a picture of PM Narendra Modi along with a two-liner poem in Marathi. It has given two options to pay, Google Pay and PayTM. Here is a screenshot of the site:
Please accept the challenge and tag, nominate people who care for india— Raj Dixit (@rajdixitindia) April 17, 2020
And yes, share your photo / screen shot.
I am nominating
VISIT the site to contribute. https://t.co/ECrqrfuYPj
The site given in these tweets and Facebook posts is fake and misleading. The official website of PM CARES Fund, where one can contribute money to, is called "https://www.pmcares.gov.in/en/". It is important to note that the fake site link that is being spread on social media has '.online' at the end. Before clicking on a PM CARES site link, one needs to make sure it ends with '.gov.in'.
Based on the fact that the site contains some lines written in Marathi, it can be said that the fake website was made in Maharashtra and is also targeting people living in the State. Such hoaxes can not only take personal information but also rob people of money. There are certain pointers that can help one understand whether the site is the right one or it is fake. Looking at the PM CARES Fund donation website, one can spot the Indian emblem on the right-hand side top of the page. At the end of the page, the words "© 2020 PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE" is given, which is also proof that the site is official.
Not only citizens but also many politicians fell for the hoax as they started sharing the link on their Twitter. Leaders like Shaina NC, Unmesh Patil, who is a Lok Sabha MP, and also Maharashtra's youth wing president Yogesh Tilekar had shared the link. As per a news source, Shaina revealed later that she was not aware that the website was fake.