With COVID-19 vaccine rollout taking off in the State, fraudulent calls are being made to the public asking for Aadhaar card details and OTP in the name of vaccination registration. While these callers claim to represent Drugs Controls Authority, the Health department officials deny initiating any such process.
“My 67-year-old grandfather received a call from a Chennai-based number and the caller claimed to be from Drug Controller Authority of India. They asked for Aadhaar card details and stated they would require an OTP for authentication.
The caller informed him that it was for the registration process for COVID-19 vaccination. He suspected the activity and did not reveal the details but such spam calls can land many in soup,” said Sushmita Pooran, a resident of Besant Nagar.
Another 52-year-old R Venkatesh, a resident of Anna Nagar, received a call from Delhi stating that they require personal details, e-mail address, Aadhaar and PAN card number for COVID-19 vaccination registry. Venkatesh passed the contact to his son V Sridhar for rendering the details. When Sridhar asked for more details on the registry, the caller did not respond.
While these are a few instances, such spam and fraudulent calls are becoming a common topic for discussion among residents. When contacted, the officials with the Directorate of Medical Services said no such process of registration has been initiated for vaccination registry by the State Health Department.
Drug Controller K Sivabalan said no such assignment has been given to the State drug control authorities. “As we receive more of such complaints, we will initiate enquiry under cyber-crime. The State health department or the Union Health Ministry has not started any direct registry for COVID-19 vaccination. So the public should not fall for such fraudulent calls,” said Sivabalan.