Update (11 July 2022):
Another similar message promising 25 lakh lottery prize money to WhatsApp users is also being widely shared. In order to avail the prize money, the message insists on communicating only through WhatsApp.
However, WhatsApp has not announced any such lottery and the viral is nothing but a fraudulent scam. The Delhi Police’s Cyber Crime Unit, back in December 2021, ruled it as a fraudulent message, wherein scammers cheat the users by demanding an initial deposit to claim the lottery amount.
‘Once the victim deposits that money, they start demanding for more on one pretext or another. The fraudsters insist on communicating only through WhatsApp. They induce the victim to deposit money in various bank accounts and the entire fraud goes on for several weeks and even months for as long as they can keep inducing the victim to deposit money. After some time, they start telling the victim that the lottery amount has been increased further to Rs. 45 lakhs, then to Rs. 75 lakhs, so on and so forth so as to keep the victim engaged and interested. Finally, when the victim starts insisting on getting the money or refuses to pay more, they stop calling him/her and discontinue the WhatsApp numbers that were being used in the fraud’, added the Delhi police.
Delhi police have also unearthed a similar scam, wherein hackers try to take control of the users WhatsApp account and blackmail them.
Published (27 December 2021):
A message is being widely circulating on social media claiming that the Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) management is organising a lottery and is rewarding 25,00,000 rupees as the lottery cash prize. A similar audio call recording was sent to our WhatsApp Tipline (+91 92470 52470) where a man proclaiming himself as a customer office personnel from KBC was greeting a person for winning 25 lakh rupees lottery from KBC. All these messages are sharing different contact numbers for receiving the prize money. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: KBC is organising a lucky draw and rewarding 25 Lakh rupees as the lottery cash prize.
Fact: KBC is neither conducting any such lucky draw nor is rewarding 25 lakh rupees as a lottery prize. Several reports were found online where such KBC scams have been reported for several years. Delhi Police had created a dedicated webpage explaining the KBC Lottery Frauds. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
When we searched for information regarding these audio recordings being circulated in the name of the KBC lottery, we found a tweet made by Tahir Ashraf, a police officer from Jammu and Kashmir. Tahir Ashraf shared a similar audio recording of a woman greeting a person for winning the lottery prize of 25,00,000 rupees from KBC. Tahir Ashraf alerted people that it is a fraud call, luring people in the name of the KBC lottery. Tahir Ashraf warned people not to fall prey to such fraud calls and lose out money to scamsters.
When we searched for more information regarding these KBC lottery messages circulating on social media, it is found out that the Delhi Police website had created a dedicated webpage for explaining the KBC Lottery Frauds. A statement in this dedicated webpage of Delhi Police website states, “Any message informing that you have won a lottery or a prize, is, in all likelihood, a fraud”. Recently, a housewife in Mumbai was lured into paying 3.85 lakh on the pretext that she won a KBC lottery. Several such reports were found online where such KBC scams have been reported for several years.
The PIB Fact-Check had also issued a clarification regarding these KBC lottery messages circulating on social media. PIB clarified that messages circulating in the name of the KBC lottery are fake and alerted people not to share their personal information on such e-mails, calls, and messages. Several news websites across the country have published articles alerting the public regarding these fraudulent messages circulating in the name of the KBC lottery. They can be seen here and here. Earlier, when a similar message went viral with a claim that the KBC-Jio department jointly organised a lottery for 25 Lakh rupees, FACTLY published a fact-check article debunking that claim.
To sum it up, messages offering 25 lakh rupees lottery prize from KBC are fraudulent.