New Delhi, 30 March 2022: There have been numerous cases of fake and fraudulent websites claiming to be associated with government schemes, which are duping aspirants for money in the guise of offering government jobs. The Union Education Ministry has taken note of such websites and issued a warning to users to avoid applying to such websites.
The ministry noted that these websites misguide people through their website layout, presentation, and content. The appearance of the websites may look promising and original, causing aspirants to fall prey to such scams due to a lack of knowledge. The notice also contained a list of three such fake websites, including www.sarvashiksha.online, https://samagra.shikshaabhiyan.co.in, and https://shikshaabhiyan.org.in.
Various fake websites have been created to misguide & dupe innocent applicants. Hence, the public is advised to avoid applying for job opportunities on such websites and safeguard their own interests. To know more, click https://t.co/QCLA8mY7uW
— Ministry of Education (@EduMinOfIndia) March 7, 2022
While few of these websites have come under the notice of the Department of School Education and Literacy, there are more websites and social media handles claiming to be associated with government schemes, which are offering fake employment opportunities to aspirants and demanding money for the application process.
Last year, a fake website ‘http://rashtriyaunnatikendra.org‘ surfaced on the internet, claiming to be associated with the Ministry of Skill Development. It asked for remittance of mandatory examination fees of Rs. 1645 for government job recruitment. However, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) Fact Check dropped a warning on its official Twitter handle, clarifying that the website is fake and that Ministry of Skill Development is not associated with the website in any way.
A #Fake website ‘https://t.co/m7Ea313Quu‘ is claiming to be associated with the ‘Ministry of Skill Development’ and is asking for ₹1645 as an application fee for recruitment in govt. projects#PIBFactCheck
▶️@MSDESkillIndia is not linked to this organisation/website in any way pic.twitter.com/nesYUpdi6I
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) December 19, 2021
General Advice to Avoid Fake Websites
Aspirants are advised to exercise caution while surfing through such fake and fraudulent websites.
Here’s a list of things to remember:
- Ensure that the website is authorised by visiting the concerned department.
- Make sure that an official notice is issued by the concerned authority regarding the website.
- If in doubt, cross-check with the concerned authority via its official e-mail or contact number.
Note: The government has specified that any individual applying on any website without verifying its legitimacy may be doing so at their own risk and shall be deemed responsible for the consequences thereof.
How to Spot Whether a Website is Fake or Not?
As the internet is full of fake websites and scams, here are a few ways to ensure safety online:
Scrutinize the contact page
Check to see if the website has an official email address. Send an email to the official email address listed on the contact page and see if it gets delivered. Also, always cross-check with the concerned department’s official website to check whether the website and the email address are original. When in doubt, call the concerned government office and ask for verification.
Check certified trust seals
A trust seal seeks to communicate to the end-user that the website is safe. It is a stamp conferred by a security partner (such as a certification authority, or CA) that indicates the website’s legitimacy. If a trust seal is genuine, clicking on it will verify the seal’s authenticity.
Cross-check with The Google Safe Browsing Transparency Report
When in confusion about the safety of a website, consult the Google Safe Browsing Transparency Report. Use this tool to check whether a URL contains malware or it is safe to visit.