Fake messages in the form of news clips, images of news sites giving sensational or breaking news to create uncertainity and havoc are not new to us. The COVID era has brought forth many such incidents and the cyber regulators have not been able to do anything about them. They continue...
However, in the last couple of weeks, with India reeling under the COVID second wave, these fake forwards have taken on a new avatar... that of promising help and raising false hopes. We all are updated with news on all form of media, where the lack of Oxygen, hospital beds and Plasma for the terminally ill COVID patients in India is making the headlines and there is no dearth of expert opinions.
In this sequence comes the new avatar of fake forwards, those claiming to mitigate the chaos and promising plasma donors, oxygen supply, new hospital beds, etc. All that these messages do, is raise FALSE HOPES for those who are desperately in need. They play with the emotions of those who are struggling and in panic for want of medical care and support in any form.
We, who forward these messages, do so with a human angle in order to help... however, we do not realise that we are just adding to the chaos. None of the mobile numbers in the fake forwards are operational - they are all either OUT OF ORDER, UNREACHABLE or DO NOT EXIST!!
What can we do
As sane and literate people, all we need to do is check the veracity or authenticity of these numbers before forwarding. This interim check will play a big role in mitigating the creation of false hopes for the needy. We at UdaipurTimes have checked a few numbers in the messages that we receive and on the basis of that are making this claim that 80% of such messages are fake. Please do not fall for them, and all that is needed is to call, verify and then forward. For one, here are a few numbers in Udaipur, that are genuine and can provide support if their infrastructure and availability allows them to help.