Press Trust of india

DGFT cautions exporters, importers against fake websites

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New Delhi: The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), an arm of the commerce ministry, has cautioned exporters and importers against “fake” websites and platforms which are allegedly charging fees and collecting their confidential data.

It has been brought to the notice of the directorate that certain vested interests/persons are using multiple websites and e-mail IDs mimicking and resembling official website and e-mail of the DGFT for misleading and duping exporters and importers, it said.

“In order to contain these issues, trade stake holders are advised to avoid accessing and engagement with such websites and platforms. Trade stake holders are also requested to avoid sharing any information and making payments on these platforms,” DGFT said in a trade notice.

It has also initiated steps to make systematic changes to establish secure communication with its stake holders.

Exporters and importers are requested to “avoid sharing their details with private/unrelated/unknown persons/entities etc which may have a potential for misuse and fraud,” it said.

The fake websites and e-mails claiming to be officials responsible for DGFT refunds have been sending communications to trade stake holders and “falsely” claiming to provide services rendered by DGFT such as issuance of the import and export code (IEC) number.

These websites appear to charge large fees from applicants besides collecting their confidential data, it added.

Some of these fake websites are registered in the domain names of  ‘.org’, ‘.in’ and ‘.com’, it said. Exporters and importers have reported that they have received mails from e-mail IDs such as, [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected]

These email IDs, being similar to government IDs, may potentially result in misleading and duping of the applicants, the directorate said.

“With the furtherance of digital mode of services delivery by DGFT and its regional authorities, the proliferation of impersonation/fake website, platforms, providers etc needs to be continuously checked and reported,” it said.

It has asked traders to bring to notice such persons/ websites/ platforms/providers to the DGFT helpdesk at the toll free number 1800-111-550 or via e-mail at [email protected]

DGFT regional authorities are also being directed to spread awareness among exporters/importers about these matters.

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