Beware! Fraudsters Loot Rs 1.3 Lakh From ICICI Account! Aadhaar Fraud Revealed
A person, who received his education from prestigious Narsee Monjee Institute of Management and Higher Studies and currently working in Mumbai, was robbed of Rs 1.3 lakh by scamsters who used Aadhaar as the trigger.
This is yet another Aadhaar related scam, where fraudsters used the panic and misinformation to make a person fool.
Is Govt. responsible for this chaos? Or it is the fault of Airtel and ICICI Bank, two main entities which failed the victim?
Or it is carelessness of the person?
Whatever it is, the fact is that Rs 1.3 lakh was robbed, and there is very little which can be done.
Aadhaar Fraud: The Modus Operandi
Shashwat Gupta, who is originally from Mumbai, and educated at Narsee Monjee Institute, is currently working in Mumbai.
Last week, he shared his story of Aadhaar fraud, on his Facebook account.
As per the story, he received a call from some person, who gave him an ‘ultimatum’ regarding linking his Aadhaar with Airtel SIM card. That person said that his Airtel SIM would be deactivated, if Aadhaar is not linked immediately.
In panic, he asked what needs to be done.
That person on the other end asked him to SMS his SIM card number to 121, which is the official Airtel’s customer care number. By doing so, his number won’t be deactivated.
Now, Shashwat became unguarded here, because 121 is the official number. However, he didn’t have the SIM number ready with him. To help him, that person on the other end sent him a number, which he claimed was Shashwat’s SIM number.
Without bothering to check, he immediately sent this SIM number to 121.
And the fraud was executed.
In next instant, Rs 1.3 lakh was withdrawn from his ICICI Bank account.
How Did The Fraud Happen?
As soon as Shashwat sent this new SIM number to 121, his original SIM was cloned, and his phone got disconnected.
The fraudster got hold of this new SIM, which was most probably linked with his ICICI Bank account, and the cash was seamlessly transferred.
Shashwat says in the post: “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.”
He has posted his complaint to ICICI Bank, and we are assuming that investigations are currently underway.
There has been no update from Shashwat or ICICI bank regarding a solution.
What Should You Do To Avoid Such Scams?
The primary reason why Shashwat sent that SMS was that, there is panic and confusion regarding the Aadhaar linkage rule with SIM cards and bank accounts.
You must be receiving SMSes and calls from telecom service providers, requesting you to link Aadhaar, as per Govt. of India’s directive.
And among them, if a scammer calls you too, then there is very little chance you can differentiate.
Infact, as of now, the legal status regarding this ‘mandatory’ requirement to link Aadhaar with SIM and bank accounts is not clear.
The case related to this still pending in Supreme Court, and in the past, Govt. too has clarified that linking is not mandatory, but an option.
In June, Supreme Court said that Aadhaar is mandatory for availing social benefits, but reserved their judgement regarding mandatory linking of SIM cards with Aadhaar.
In May, we had reported how a Journalist confirmed that legally, it is NOT mandatory to link bank account and SIM cards with Aadhaar.
Our Suggestion: If you are linking your Aadhaar with bank and/or SIM card, only do so via authorized stores and bank branches, rather than doing it via phone.
That is the only safety we can think of, right now.
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