Alert! Fake Covid vaccine registration scam, Here’s how you can avoid it

Amid these times of urgency, fake messages and fake websites are going around on mobile phones claiming that by simply clicking on the link you will be able to register yourself for the vaccine.

With the raging second wave of coronavirus in the country, the Indian Government is trying to pace up the vaccination drive. On May 1, India began the third phase of vaccination, allowing people above 18 years to be eligible for getting vaccine jabs.

Almost every individual is trying to get themselves registered for getting a Covid vaccine shot at the earliest. People can register themselves from CoWIN App and Arogya Setu App.

Amid these times of urgency, fake messages and websites are going around on mobile phones claiming that by simply clicking on the link you will be able to register yourself for the vaccine. These fake websites and apps result in hacking the personal data of the user.

Also Read: Moderna says its COVID vaccine shot works effectively on children aged 12-17

What is the fake vaccine registration scam

A fake message is doing rounds with an embedded link to malware. The link claims to register users for the vaccination program but instead of leading to the CoWIN platform, it takes you to a malicious page.

Then the page leads to a malicious app named ‘Vaccine Register’ trying to install itself on the user’s phone. The app may look like an alternative to the CoWIN.

This message is being received by only Android users and is specially targeted to Indian users who are right now trying to register themselves for vaccination.

How can you avoid these scams

The first and foremost thing to be aware of is that CoWIN and Aarogya Setu are the only two platforms that allow Indians to register for the Covid vaccine slot. There are some third-party tools and web pages that may actually help users to track available vaccination slots in the nearby area. But, registration is strictly limited to these two platforms.

Also Read: Pfizer offers 5cr vaccines to India, demands regulatory relaxations

Any third-party SMS or email claiming to help with the registration process can be dangerous. Users must not click on the links of such messages and not forward these malicious messages to people.

Indian Computer Emergency Response Team suggests, not downloading the APK file of any Android app on getting any message to download the file. This can be harmful malware that will hack your mobile data.

How to know if the website is fake

You can look to the URL of the website and determine whether it is safe or not. If the URL starts from ‘HTTP' then the site can be harmful or unsafe. Whereas, if the URL starts from ‘HTTPS' there might be chances that the site is real. Also never trust a website with a short URL.

Always carefully check the words after the ‘dot’ in any link. For example, if it is a government website, then it will have after the dot. If the website has in, org, com after the dot, then there are chances of a website being harmful.

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