Website impersonates official EPFO portral, ‘offers’ Rs 80,000 benefits

A message about Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) offering benefits worth Rs 80,000 is being shared on social media. It claims that workers who have worked between 1990 to 2019 will be able to avail the benefit, provided their name is listed on the website (https://socialdraw.top/epf). “The workers who worked between the 1990 and 2019, have the rights to get the benefits of ₹80 000 by EPFO of INDIA. Check if your name is in the list of the people who have the rights to withdraw this benefit: https://socialdraw.top/epf”, reads the complete message.

Several people have raised concerns over the authenticity of the message.

EPFO calls-out “fake” website

EPFO’s official Twitter handle has called out the fake website.

Fact-check

There are several red flags through which social media users can identify that the website is fake.

We found that the website is impersonating the official EPFO website. Government websites generally end with the domain name, .gov.in, whereas this website ends with .top domain. EPFO’s official website is www.epfindia.gov.in.

Screenshot of EPFO’s official website

The top portion of the website –socialdraw.top/epf– is designed to resemble the official EPFO website by posting a screenshot of the same. None of the categories like UMANG, e-passbook, ECR/Returns/Payments is clickable.

Screenshot of the fake website

The website asks users to answer a set of questions, like ‘are you 18 years old’, ‘did you work in the period between 1990 to 2019’, ‘are you currently working somewhere’, and so on. Subsequently, the user is asked to send the message to other people on WhatsApp, until a supposed threshold limit is reached. This is the typical method applied by shoddy websites to dupe people online and extract their personal information.

Moreover, according to WHOIS, this website was created in mid-October this year.

Alt News had debunked a similar fake website impersonating as Honda’s website, which claimed that the company is giving away 300 Activa 5g scooters for free on Diwali.

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