16, Jan, 2024

Beware of scams happening in the name of Ram Mandir

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In the wake of digital advancements, our spiritual journeys have taken a virtual turn, allowing us to partake in religious ceremonies and celebrations online. However, with this convenience comes the lurking threat of scams, especially during significant events like the inauguration of revered temples. In this article, we delve into the unfortunate scam surrounding online bookings for prasad and offerings and other fraudulent activities, shedding light on the modus operandi and providing readers with essential tips to safeguard themselves.

The Rise of Virtual Spiritual Experiences:

In an era where the virtual world intertwines seamlessly with our daily lives, the concept of participating in spiritual events online has gained momentum. Many individuals seek to connect with their faith remotely, especially during monumental events like the inauguration of temples or religious places.

The Unfortunate Scams: Online Prasad and Offering Frauds:

Recent events, including the inauguration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, have witnessed an unfortunate surge in online scams. Fraudsters exploit the enthusiasm and devotion of individuals by setting up fake platforms offering the chance to book prasad and make offerings online. Victims, driven by their spiritual fervor, fall prey to these scams, losing their money without receiving the promised religious items.

Modus Operandi of the Scammers:

Fake Websites and Platforms:

  • Scammers create realistic-looking websites or platforms that mimic legitimate religious organizations or temples. These sites offer the opportunity to book prasad and make offerings online.

Deceptive Payment Processes:

  • Victims are prompted to make payments online for the selected prasad or offerings. The payment processes often seem legitimate, luring individuals into a false sense of security.

QR Code Scam:

  • Fraudsters impersonate representatives of Sri Ram Janmi Teer Shetra, creating fake social media pages. They share QR codes, purportedly for Ayodhya Ram Temple donations. Unfortunately, these QR codes lead to the fraudster’s pocket, diverting funds away from the temple’s legitimate account.This fraudulent activity has caught the attention of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), prompting them to issue a stern warning on social media. (Source – https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/ram-temple-construction-scam-qr-code-fraud-to-loot-devotees-vhp-issues-warning-2482551-2023-12-31)

Free VIP Entry Ticket Scam:

  • Scammers exploit the anticipation around the Ayodhya temple inauguration by sending WhatsApp messages. These messages offer free VIP entry to the temple on January 22.
    These messages include an APK (Android Application Package) file labelled as ‘Ram Janmabhoomi Grihsampark Abhiyan.APK’. The second message asks users to “Install Ram Janmabhoomi Grihsampark Abhiyan” APK file to get VIP access
  •  Unsuspecting users who follow the instructions may end up downloading an APK file, risking the installation of spyware on their devices.These messages are primarily aimed to steal your data or inject dangerous files, malware or app in your smartphones. These malicious programs can steal your personal information, including passwords, banking details, and even track your activity 

(Source – https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/gadgets-news/scam-alert-these-whatsapp-messages-on-ayodhya-ram-mandir-are-fake-and-dangerous/articleshow/106732114.cms)

Fake Invitations:

  • Fraudsters distribute counterfeit invitations for the Ram Mandir’s “Pran Pratishtha” ceremony. To heighten the deception, they may instruct users to click on a link, purportedly for entering their details for an entry pass to the Ram Mandir. This tactic aims to extract personal information from unsuspecting individuals.

Tips to Safeguard Yourself from Online Prasad and Offering Frauds:

Verify the Authenticity of the Platform:

  • Before making any online bookings, ensure that the platform is legitimate. Verify the website’s authenticity by checking for official announcements or contacting the respective temple directly.

Use Official Channels:

  • Opt for official channels endorsed by the religious institution or temple for booking prasad or making offerings. Legitimate organizations will provide secure and verified methods for such transactions.
  • The official website of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust is the only authorized platform for contributions. The genuine website is www.srjbtkshetra.org.  (Reference)  – https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/how-to/ayodhya-ram-mandir-how-to-safely-donate-to-ram-temple-trust-and-avoid-fake-websites/articleshow/106866152.cms?from=mdr

Check for Secure Payment Gateways:

  • Legitimate websites use secure payment gateways. Before making any payments, check for the padlock symbol in the address bar and ensure that the URL starts with “https://” for encrypted transactions.

Consult with Local Authorities:

  • Reach out to local authorities or the temple management to confirm the authenticity of online offerings. Genuine religious institutions are usually transparent about their online services.

By understanding the intricacies of these scams and adopting vigilant online practices, devotees can actively protect themselves from falling victim to fraudulent schemes surrounding online prasad and offerings during temple inaugurations.
The devotees need to understand that the government or even Ram Mandir trust is not sending any VIP entry invites to anyone. Downloading fraudulent apps to get the entry can lead to heavy financial losses and data theft.Faith is a personal journey, and safeguarding it online is as sacred as the devotion itself.


Reference By : Times Of India – January 16,2024

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