The government of India is warning citizens over fake news claiming approval for the installation of 4G and 5G towers. The fake message shared by the Press Bureau of India reads that the government has approved the installation of 5G towers in your “plot, house spare space” for which it will provide rent of Rs 30,000. A similar message was in circulation earlier this year, and the government had warned against the same. At that time, the government warned that the Department of Telecommunication that oversees telecommunication-related developments in India is not “directly or indirectly involved in leasing/renting the premises for installation of mobile tower or for issuing any “No Objection Certificate” for the purpose”.
What does the Fake Message claim
Users may receive the fake messages from bad actors on WhatsApp or SMS. The message notes that shortlisted citizens would receive a hefty rent if they approve the installation of 5G/4G towers on their premises with other perks. The message seemingly includes a link where receivers would be required to provide personal information. Once the personal details are shared, hackers and scammers could access sensitive information, including bank details.
▶️No such announcement has been made by the Government of India.
▶️Never respond to such fraudulent emails/SMS. pic.twitter.com/co6pfNOCCL
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) April 24, 2022
What is the Government saying
The latest PIB tweet simply highlights that the message is fake and citizens must avoid such messages from scammers. The tweet further highlights that citizens must “never respond to such fraudulent emails/SMS”. The DoT had also shared a detailed note earlier that provides more elaborate details. The public note reads:
“Some fraudster companies/agencies/individuals cheat general public by promising them hefty monthly rental payment on granting, permission for erecting mobile tower in their private properties and ask them to deposit money In their personal/ companies account as security deposit/ application fee/registration charges/stamp duty/ government tax under Telecom Act/ clearing of the advanced payment etc. In lieu of leasing/renting the premises of individuals for installation of Mobile Tower or for any other purpose. After collecting the money these companies/ individuals/ agencies become unreachable / untraceable. These companies at times issue fake “No Objection Certificate” for installation of tower in the name of fictitious comp”.
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The note also clarifies that a mobile tower may be installed by either Telecom Service Provider (TSP) or Infrastructure Provider (IP-l) as per their licensing/registration conditions. The updated list of TSPs and IP-l is available on the official DoT website. Readers can find the full public notice here.
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