Pay attention! The DGFT warns that fake websites offering refunds could be “fraud”. READ

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The DGFT (General Directorate of Foreign Trade) of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has warned people against using multiple websites and email ids that mimic the official DGFT website and emails to mislead and deceive exporters or importers.

In a notice published today, the DGFT said those individuals with “special interests” claiming to be officials responsible for DGFT reimbursements are sending communications to trade stakeholders. Through these websites, they are said to have misled trade actors by falsely claiming to provide services rendered by DGFT, including issuance of Import and Export Code (IEC) number.

“These websites appear to charge a large amount as a fee to applicants in addition to collecting their confidential data despite the fact that the process IEC number is fully online and contactless,” the circular said.

He said some of these fake websites are registered in *.org, *.in, *.com domain names such as www.iecregistration.org. “Exporters or importers reported receiving emails from email ids such as dgft-email.nic.in, [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] gov.email, [email protected], [email protected], etc,” the circular states, adding that these email IDs being similar to government IDs can potentially mislead and deceive applicants.

According to the DGFT, the proliferation of fake websites or platforms must be continuously monitored and reported. Engaging with such platforms can lead to “possible fraud”, exposure to misleading information, confusion among business actors, theft of confidential information, etc., among others.

In this regard, the DGFT said that trade stakeholders have been advised to avoid accessing these websites and platforms and sharing information or making payments.

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