THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Watch out! The scammers are out with a new set of tricks to swindle the gullible public. Curiously, the Centre’s directive to link the bank accounts with Aadhaar has apparently made these fraudsters more brazen. Their latest modus operandi is to seek details of the Aadhaar card from unsuspecting victims through phone calls and emails.
Posing as bank executives or tele-callers, they call up potential victims saying, “The bank has decided to link your Aadhaar number with debit card for better customer service. For this we need your Aadhaar number and other details.” A similar call was received by a city-based businessman recently. To gain the victims’ trust, fraudsters even tell the common 12-digit code on the debit card, which will be unique to each bank, and then ask them to disclose the remaining four digits, unique to each customer. Along with the last four digits, they secure the card verification value (CVV) number.
Next, they will place orders to generate a one-time password (OTP)on the customers’ mobile phone. Convinced the OTP is for Aaadhar linkage, customers share the password for linking the Aadhaar cards with debit or credit cards.
Express spoke to Kiran Kumar, a business analyst, who was contacted by a fraud recently. “I was quite aware of this type of fraud. So I waited till the executive asked me to share the OTP. But I refused to do so and instead warned him of police action. However, several people remain unaware of this and they normally share the number as the Centre had instructed the public to link the Aadhaar card with PAN. It’s high time people should be made aware of this new age fraud,” said Kumar. The police said the fraudsters’ primary targets are people from Kerala as many people here are unaware of this type of fraud.
They also said the fraudsters were operating from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi. Incidentally, none of the accused has been booked by the police till date. The police suspect the involvement of an international crime syndicate. IG Manoj Abraham, who is the nodal officer of Cyberdome, a unit of Kerala Police to prevent cyber crimes, told Express the fraudulent activities can be reduced to a great extent once Aadhaar linkage is over.
“As the new system will provide an authentication to the customer, the fraudsters can never dupe the people anymore. Here, there will be a biometric verification which helps to reduce the possibility of money being siphoned from accounts. However, the fraudsters will continue to target those who remain ignorant. This can be avoided only through awareness programmes,” he said.