Promised free vehicles, funds? It’s all fake -Rakesh Dubbudu and Akhil Reddy

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published Published on Oct 12, 2020   modified Modified on Oct 12, 2020

-The Hindu

It is high time the government takes note of the fake schemes menace

Here’s an exercise: Log onto any social media or technology platform, whether Google, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. Type the name of any of these “schemes” — Free Laptop Scheme, PM Scooty Yojana, PM Kisan Tractor Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Solar Panel Yojana, and PM Kanya Aashirwad Yojana. You will be promised anything from free vehicles to free funds to fake employment offers. While fraudsters have been duping the public with non-existent government schemes for some time, this problem has become more widespread during the COVID-19 pandemic. We live in an era where selling personal data can get a fraudster lakhs of rupees. Many of these fake schemes are aimed not only at harvesting the personal data of citizens, but also duping them financially.

The extent and spread of fake schemes on these platforms can be quite surprising to some. But while other forms of misinformation (commonly known as fake news) are widely discussed and researched, fake schemes do not figure as often as they should in these debates in India, though they are very common. Like other forms of misinformation, fake schemes also cause immense harm to large sections of the public. Unlike other forms of misinformation, news about fake schemes is shared by people across the ideological and social spectrum.

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The Hindu, 12 October, 2020,

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