Rely only on government sources for information, feedback on COVID-19 vaccine | #government | #hacking | #cyberattack

Hyderabad: Many people have received a call from the number 912250041117 that claimed to provide information and feedback about the COVID-19 vaccine. People claimed that the calls received from the number ask the individual to dial 1 if vaccinated which results in the phone being hacked.

Fact Check:

It is true that the number is a scam and doesn’t offer any help regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. People are advised to only rely on government websites for feedback or queries. Regarding the message, many have been passing the message that the phone can be hacked upon receiving the call.

NewsMeter checked for the number on TrueCaller, an application for caller identification, and found that the number has been marked as spam and has over 21 thousand scam reports against it. It has made over 14 lakh calls recently.

The Press Information Bureau (PIB) fact check team has put out a tweet that stated that this is a “fraud call”. The tweet read, “Scam Alert. People are receiving #COVID19 Vaccine feedback calls from ‘912250041117.’ A WhatsApp forward says that answering the call can hack phone #PIBFactCheck. This is a #Fraud call.” It further stated that 1921 is the number used by the government of India for COVID-19 vaccine feedback.

For the COIVD vaccination drive, the government of India uses the ‘Rapid Assessment System (RAS)’ for taking feedback from those who are vaccinated. Registered mobile numbers and names of those vaccinated are sent to the RAS system by the Co-WIN platform and a unique URL for feedback questions and personalised SMSs is sent to all beneficiaries of that day. The SMS contains the name of the person, dose (first/second), and a unique URL. The sender ID used for SMS is “GOVRAS”. When a user clicks on the URL in the SMS, a feedback form opens with the Co-WIN logo, date and place of vaccination, dose (first/second) and names of all those who got vaccinated. Once the user confirms vaccination against one of the names, a few questions are asked. If the user does not give the feedback within 24 hours, an outbound call is made from 1921 seeking feedback. (Click here to read the press release for more information).

Though it is unclear if the number can hack the phone, people are advised not to pick up any such calls and not provide personal details to unknown people. Use government-issued numbers and websites for queries. The COVID-19 vaccine feedback can only be provided via the “GOVRAS” SMS or via 1921.

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