Earlier this week, the Times of India reported that conmen were using Aadhar numbers as means to dupe people into divulging their credentials and siphon money. It added that the Hyderabad police gets about 20 cases every day related to Aadhaar-debit card.

Modus Operandi

The conmen pose as bankers or tele-callers from bankers and say that banks are linking the Aadhar card with their debit card and get them to divulge their card number, CVV (card verification value) and expiry date. The frauds will then generate an OTP, which is received by the victim instantly, which acts as a further trust factor for the victim, and get them to share that as well. Victims think that the OTP will be used for linking their bank accounts with Aadhaar card.

Once OTP is generated and shared, the frauds use various ecommerce portals to purchase as many products in the 5 to 15 minute window of OTP validation provides. By the time the victims understand this, his/her bank account is debited with thousands of rupees.

So far, the Hyderabad police have not been able to make any arrests and add that most of these calls originate from Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. Though many victims approach police immediately, poor response from many payment gateways has been hampering investigation, helping the culprits get away with their crime, the report added.

Jan Dhan Yojana and voice phishing

This form of fraud will hit those who are using the banking system for the time and have limited knowledge of formal banking and new technology. It’s worth noting that the Prime Minister’s financial inclusion programme, the Jan Dhan Yojana, which opens a bank account for the unbanked, now has over 17 crore accounts and primarily uses Aadhar as verification. It’s no wonder that they are more susceptible to this form of fraud.

It needs to be pointed out that Aadhar cards are not at fault here and what is needed right now is more education to protect consumer interests. HDFC Bank has been cautioning its customers about vishing (voice phishing) and the bank’s head of digital banking, Nitin Chugh, told MediaNama that it has been seeing that as a new trend in fraud.

Kotak Mahindra Bank credit card fraud

Earlier this month, Kotak Mahindra Bank detected a credit card fraud to the tune of Rs 2.84 crore which involved 1730 transactions carried out on 580 cards. The fraud was carried out by fabricating the cards and used for online shopping and making payments in seven countries – Canada, USA, UK, Germany, Brazil, France and India – between July 2 and September 10. An internal investigation by the bank showed that the cards were created by stealing data from a newly created series of unissued cards.

Image source: Flickr user frankieleon

Update: Headline changed to reflect facts of the story better.