Whatsapp message on IOC's fuel subsidy | Photo: Mathrubhumi
A website URL is widely shared on WhatsApp with a claim that the Indian Oil Corporation(IOC), a central government undertaking, provides special fuel subsidies to its consumers in connection with its 65th anniversary. Mathrubhumi fact check investigates the reality of this message.
Initially, we checked the authenticity of the URL shared on WhatsApp and found it misleading. The official link of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is http://iocl.com/.
Official notifications of IOC are provided only through its official website. We couldn't find any information about the offer mentioned in the message from IOC's official website. The Indian Oil Corporation was established on 20th June 1959; its 65th anniversary will be celebrated in 2024. That claims the 65th-anniversary celebration is wrong.
For further investigations, we opened the circulating URL through secured means, and it redirected to a webpage impersonating IOC's website. Upon landing, we were confronted with a questionnaire related to the company. According to the given information, the persons selected from those who have completed the quiz will be given a cash reward of 8000 dollars. It is common logic that a Public sector company in the country will never provide gifts in dollars for the general public.
A security check was carried out and the URL was found to be unsafe. On the basis of all the shreds of evidence, it can be concluded that the claim of subsidy gift by IOC as fake.
These types of messages had circulated in the past years as well. The Press Information Bureau had (PIB) also issued statements at that time with a clarification stating such links as fraudulent.
Similar fraudulent activities undertaken through phishing links are very frequent nowadays.
Clicking on these links will result in losing personal information. The Kerala police had already issued warnings on such phishing links.
Indian Oil Corporation has not provided any fuel subsidy in connection with its 65th anniversary. These types of messages are part of fraudulent activity done through phishing. Please don’t click on these links and share them with others.