Late last week, the National Health Agency, which is overseeing the implementation of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana or Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) posted a list of 89 fraudulent websites and mobile applications.
These websites and applications have been found to be disseminating misleading and fake information about the government’s flagship healthcare scheme, falsely enrolling patients for this scheme as well as other ones, and providing a list of beneficiaries—in the public domain.
Additionally, they have been hiring Ayushman/Arogya Mitras. To the uninitiated, Ayushman/Arogya Mitras are deployed at every empanelled hospital offering assistance to consumers about the scheme.
“[The] National Health Agency has come to know that some unscrupulous individuals, agencies, websites, digital media channels, Mobile Apps, job portal websites and organizations are circulating fraudulent information in the form of emails, WhatsApp messages, registration portals, job updates, blog posts and video channels and web links claiming to register/enroll people as beneficiaries under AB-NHPM/AB-PMJAY, to issue/print Golden records/e-cards for consideration or free, to provide recruitment as Arogya Mitra or some other service/benefit etc,” read the advisory.
Not all these websites spread false information deliberately or with malicious intentions, but the NHA believes that they could result in consumers being duped.
The list of fake websites includes Deepawali, 7th Pay Commission Info, Pradhan Mantri Scheme, Indiamart, Govt-Yojna, Kikali.in, Gadgets Update Hindi (application), Chsma.in, Bharat-sarkar.co, Sukanya Samriddhi Account Yojana, Gadgets Update Hindi (registration), Apply desk, and Hindi Gurukul, reports Newsbytes.
There are also websites named after the government’s flagship healthcare scheme, which include Ayushmanbharat.net, Ayushmanbhaarat, Ayushmanbharatyojana, Ayushmanyojana, Aayushmanbharat, Ayushmanbharatyojanas, and Modicareinsurancescheme.
In its advisory, the NHA has listed out 20 fake websites it has already taken down. The list includes, Gov Yojana, Govt-Yojna, Sukanya Samriddhi Account Yojana, PM Jan Dhan Yojana, Sarkari Yojanaye, Namastekisan, Divya Jobs, Sarkari Yojana, Money Bhaskar, Yogi Yojana, Chsma – Get all trending update, Paatashaala, Kya Hai, Mera Pmjay, Ayushmanbharat, Ayushmanbharatyojana, Ayushman-bharat-yojana, Ayushmanbharatscheme, Yogi Yojana, and Mera Pmjay.
You can check the entire list of fake websites here. The government has reportedly filed FIRs against operators of all these websites and mobile applications.
“These websites have been giving false information to the patients about the health scheme. Many of them claimed to get a beneficiary card for the patients through which one can avail the treatment under the scheme. There are no charges for registering under the scheme. Our team has constantly been monitoring these websites, and an FIR has been registered against owners/developers of these websites and applications to block these websites,” said Indu Bhushan, CEO, NHA, to The Indian Express.
An important notice: There are many fake websites, online portals, fraudulent WhatsApp messages circulating to mislead the public into registering or applying for #AyushmanBharat. PMJAY is an entitlement-based scheme, there is NO enrolment/registration to become a beneficiary.
— Dr. Indu Bhushan (@ibhushan) October 29, 2018
When looking for information about the Ayushman Bharat scheme, consumers must only visit the official website (https://www.abnhpm.gov.in/) or call the official helpline number 1455. Do not ever share any of your personal information like contact details, bank account details, etc.
Also, do not ever download any document from these websites since they could contain dangerous malware or other some other virus.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)