Circular No. ES/198/2020-21 13th June, 2020
VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE
To: Members of the Council
Sub: Advisory on fake Email IDs/Websites/Persons claiming to be government officer/official responsible for DGFT/GSTN refunds or providing the services for issuance of IEC and other services of DGFT
Earlier, we had the physical system of filing applications and documents for getting IEC which was felt cumbersome by many. The Government took an initiative to introduce the facility of online IEC application/modification. Digitization facility made it easy and saved both time and money and also increased the chances of transparency.
DGFT has now issued a very important Trade Notice No.14/2020-21 dated 11th June, 2020 informing of misuse of the system by certain vested interests/persons in the following manner -
Certain vested interests/persons have been using multiple websites/ email IDs mimicking/resembling official DGFT website and email for misleading/duping exporters and importers.
These persons are claiming to be the officials responsible for DGFT refunds and have been sending communication to trade stakeholders.
Through such websites, they have been allegedly misleading stakeholders by falsely claiming to provide services rendered by DGFT including claiming to help in issuance of the Import and Export Code (IEC) number.
These websites appear to charge large sums as fee from applicants besides collecting their confidential data despite the process of IEC number being completely online and contactless.
Some of these fake websites are registered in the domain names of *.org, *.in, *.com such as iecregistration.org.
Exporters/Importers have reported to be receiving emails from IDs such as “dgft-email.nic.in“, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Infol@in-gov.email, firstname.lastname@example.org, Si2@ic-gov.email etc. These email IDs being similar to Government IDs may potentially result in misleading and duping of the applicants.
With the furtherance of digital mode of services delivery by DGFT and its RAs, the proliferation of impersonation/fake websites, platforms, providers etc. needs to be continuously checked and reported.
Engaging with/on such platforms by the Importer/exporter may result in possible frauds, exposure to misleading information, confusion among trade stakeholders, and stealing of confidential information etc. among others.
In order to hold these issues, DGFT has advised trade stakeholders to avoid accessing and engagement with such websites and platforms. Stakeholders are also requested to avoid sharing any information and making payments on these platforms.
Please note the following-
DGFT has initiated systematic changes to establish secure communication with its stakeholders.
The contact information provided by the Exporters/Importers is used/will be used by DGFT for communication.
Exporters/Importers are requested to avoid sharing their details with private/unrelated/unknown persons/entities etc. which may have a potential for misuse and fraud.
The two official websites for applying for IEC, availing services and for addressing their various requirements are https://dgft.gov.in or http://dgft.gov.in.
Trade stakeholders must bring to notice cases of such persons/websites/ platforms/providers to the DGFT Helpdesk at the toll-free number 1800-111-550 or by sending details via email at email@example.com.
DGFT has directed its RAs to spread awareness among the Exporters/Importers about these matters. On receipt of information regarding such cases, these should be informed to the E-Governance & Trade Facilitation (EG&TF) Division, DGFT (HQ), at the earliest.
Members may please make a note of the above information and do as advised by DGFT.