Tirupati: COVID-19 restrictions have come in handy for scammers to cheat devotees of Lord Venkateswara by offering them tickets for darshan at the Tirumala temple. There are also others who are advertising jobs in the name Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), which manages affairs at the holy place, and cheating the jobless.
Surprisingly, this is continuing to happen despite the TTD, which manages affairs of the hill temple, warning people against getting cheated by middlemen or fake websites offering darshan or job recruitment.
Several instances have been reported in the recent past, wherein devotees trying to book darshan or get Arjitha Seva tickets online have got cheated by fake portals.
A senior temple official said: “There are fake portals or middlemen targeting devotees seeking the most sought-after Arjitha Seva or break darshan tickets at Tirumala temple. With keywords they attract a browser to their portals, collect details, ask them to pay online for their darshan and collect tickets that will be sent by e-mail on payment. Only subsequently, the devotees realise they have been scammed.” The TTD has identified over 20 fake websites and has filed police complaints, which are under investigation.
Meanwhile, a post stating that TTD has released a notification for recruiting security guards became viral on social media recently. Taking serious exception, TTD clarified that no such recruitment is taking place and also registered a case against the man responsible for the social media post.
In a statement on Sunday, TTD vigilance officials stated that in spite of repeated appeals, some devotees are still becoming victims of scammers....