Member of Parliament John Brittas, Communist Party of India (Marxist), wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 31 urging the government to take cognisance of the cybercrimes and rising instances of financial frauds associated with the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AsPS), according to a report by Hindustan Times. The letter also urged the Prime Minister to direct the Finance Ministry and the IT Ministry to look into the matter. The MP’s letter comes at a time when multiple states, including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Haryana, have witnessed a growth in AePS-related frauds. These crimes mainly include cloning people’s Aadhaar-linked biometrics and using them to siphon off people’s money from bank accounts (we have reported such cases before). Recently, the Telangana police issued an alert on the AePS fraud cautioning residents to disable their biometrics from Aadhaar if they lose money from their AePS-linked account. Key points from the letter: The letter, reviewed by Hindustan Times, states that AePS is used as a primary tool for perpetrating these crimes. It highlights the concern that while AePS was deployed for objectives like financial inclusion, the tool is being misused to “deceive the very people it was designed to assist”. According to Brittas, though AePS is not as popular as UPI, it is important to note that an average cash withdrawal of Rs 1000 crores is carried out using this mechanism every day. Brittas cites experts’ observations that the proliferation of Aadhaar numbers and other details into different datasets and in various…
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