DGFT vide Trade Notice No. 14/2020 – 21 dated June 11, 2020 has issued an advisory on certain vested interests/persons are using multiple websites and email IDs mimicking/resembling official DGFT website and email for misleading and duping exporters/importers. These vested interests/persons claiming to be the officials responsible for DGFT refunds have been sending a communication to trade stakeholders. Further, through such websites, they have been allegedly misleading trade stakeholders by falsely claiming to provide services rendered by PGFT 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 www.iecregistration.org. Exporters/Importers have reported to be receiving emails from email ID such as “dgft-email.nic.in”, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Info1@in-gov.email, email@example.com, 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 Regional Authorities, 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 contain these issues, trade stakeholders are advised to avoid accessing and engagement with such websites and platforms. Trade stakeholders are also requested to avoid sharing any information and making payments on these platforms.
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 official website of the DGFT for applying for IEC and other services is https://dgft.gov.in or http://dgft.gov.in. The stakeholders are advised to access these two official websites for availing services and for addressing their various requirements. Trade stakeholders are requested to 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
DGFT RAs are directed 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.
The Notification can be accessed at: https://dgft.gov.in/sites/default/files/Trade%20notice%2014%2811.06.2020%29.pdf