In the recent months, there has been a chaos of sorts when it comes to linking Aadhaar with various entities. First, we had to link it to our PAN numbers, bank accounts and now the recent buzz over linking mobile numbers to Aadhaar.
Banks have been pushing users to link their Aadhaar cards, and so do service providers. Amidst all this, some malicious minds are also using it as an apt opportunity to dupe people. All the chaos is simply working in their favour.
The most recent incident to come to light is of Shashwat Gupta, who works for a firm in Kozhikode. He got a call from a man claiming to be an Airtel representative, who scammed him of Rs 1.3 lakh, on the pretext of linking his mobile number to his Aadhaar card.
In a Facebook post, Gupta has explained, "A fraud, claiming to be from Airtel, gave me an ultimatum that Airtel would deactivate my SIM and block my number forever as I had not linked my Aadhaar card to my SIM. He urged me to message my SIM card number to 121 (Official Airtel Service Number) and my SIM would be reactivated without any hassle. Little did I know that the fraudster would clone my SIM and loot all my hard earned money and also take away Investments (Fixed Deposits) that I had planned on using during the worst times of my life."
This led to deactivating his SIM card, and the fraudster immediately duplicated his SIM. Interestingly, a duplicate SIM was issued without much verification, looks like. So, how did this happen only with a mobile number?
It is quite evident that the fraudster knew a few details about the person they are conning. But, a transaction won’t go through without an OTP. For the OTP, they require the person's phone number. This way, they may have had his phone number, OTP and obviously card details.
However, what's baffling is despite complaining, ICICI Bank didn't freeze his account, and the fraudster managed to siphon the rest of the money too.
There has been a rise in the number of such cases. This doesn't necessarily mean Aadhaar is to be blamed, as such incidents keep surfacing in various forms. These malicious minds could simply tell you they are calling from banks claiming your account may shut and ask for your details, or even offer you a new credit card with jaw-dropping benefits and ask you for details and siphoned money from your accounts.
One has to be diligent and aware, and also spread awareness among your family and friends that a bank will never call you for details, don't believe a service provider calling you to follow certain instructions and choose to walk into an official store.
Read his complete post below:
And in a blitz, my salary account was looted.
Hi guys! I just lost an amount of Rupees 1.3 lacs from my ICICI Bank salary account. A fraud, claiming to be from Airtel, gave me an ultimatum that Airtel would deactivate my SIM and block my number forever as I had not linked my Aadhar card to my SIM. He urged me to message my SIM card number to 121 (Official Airtel Service Number) and my SIM would be reactivated without any hassle. Little did I know that the fraudster would clone my SIM and loot all my hard earned money and also take away Investments (Fixed Deposits) that I had planned on using during the worst times of my life.
Is this all that was required to break my ICICI Bank Account? Is that how vulnerable technology have left us? I always thought that our accounts are well protected by layers of security. I was under the impression that a person would require my account details or debit card or some sensitive information that only I have, that I have been safeguarding every minute of my life, to break my account. But the truth is all that sensitive stuff is already floating around the criminal world waiting to be raided, as our beloved banks like ICICI Bank haven’t been able to keep what must only be ours, OURS!
It is unbelievable how easy it has become to steal from our accounts. All the fraudsters are doing is trying every trick they can think of to get that one tiny key that would break open a safe that seem to be safeguarded by hundred different locks.
The saddest part of this is, after the loot on day one, ICICI Bank was not able to protect the balance amount. Even after 18 hours of raising Service Request ( S/R 497438380 ) and repeated follow ups on customer care and branch, the Bank was not able to freeze my balance and as a result early next morning the fraudster was easily able to walk away with the remainder amount. Dear ICICI Bank, are your services supposed to end in crisis or are you supposed relieve the customers’ grievances and prevent further damage?
ICICI Bank needs to understand that a fraudster breaks much more than an account with his activities, he breaks a persons’ life.
I feel that the Bank has failed to protect my account effectively and are completely responsible for my losses. I hence demand ICICI Bank to refund every single penny I’ve lost in this incident.
I would also like to speak out to my friends here, guys please be careful and wary of these frauds. The people who we think are securing us, are actually the ones screwing us.