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Punjab warns of online fraudsters promising free smartphones

Taking strong exception of the messages circulating on WhatsApp and other social media platforms, Singla said that Punjab Smart Connect Scheme is solely for Class XII boy and girl students of government schools.

Statesman News Service | Chandigarh |

Punjab education minister Vijay Inder Singla on Friday cautioned the people of the state against falling prey to online fraudsters promising free smart phones under the “Punjab Smart Connect Scheme”.

Taking strong exception of the messages circulating on WhatsApp and other social media platforms, Singla said that Punjab Smart Connect Scheme is solely for Class XII boy and girl students of government schools. And, they have been provided with smart phones only based on their enrollment in government schools. Thus, there isn’t any question that it is for other people, he said.

The minister said the state government has not launched any website or social media platform to register for such smartphones. Warning miscreants to face dire consequences for this kind of mischievous online fraud under cyber crime prevention laws, Singla asked people of the state not to follow any messages or click any URL message being circulated via instant messaging services like WhatsApp, SMS, which depicts registration for free smart phones given by the government.

He warned that these kinds of phishing attacks could allow cyber-criminals to take control of your device. He informed that the circulating graphic carried a photo of the Punjab Chief Minister under the title “Captain Smart phone Distribution Scheme 2020” and online registration proforma. Singla urged people to remain extremely cautious about such messages URL links, adding that after getting such messages, don’t forward it to others and delete it immediately.