Scammers are using Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AePS) vulnerabilities to empty bank accounts in India. Recent reports show a rise in Aadhaar card-related fraud. What’s troubling is that this fraud doesn’t need SMS or OTP, making it more concerning.
Authorities Warning of Aadhaar Fraud
Lately, the Bengaluru Police warned about a new scam on X (formerly Twitter), advising people to lock their Aadhaar biometrics to avoid fraud. The State Bank of India also suggested customers secure their biometrics on the m-Aadhaar app/UIDAI portal to prevent unauthorized access.
Fraudsters Misusing AePS
AEPS, or Aadhaar Enabled Payment System, lets you use your Aadhaar identity to access your bank account. You can do basic banking stuff like checking balance, withdrawing cash, and sending money through a business correspondent.
There’s a new scam alert after Kolkata Police discovered fraudsters stealing data, including thumbprints, from land registries on the West Bengal Government’s website. Two people were arrested for using this stolen information in fraudulent transactions through the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System
“These accused developed fake fingerprints that were used to withdraw money from the complainant’s bank account. Primarily. It has been found that the electronic data are gathered from different public domains/websites,” said a Senior Officer, Kolkata Police, as quoted by Indian Express.
Afterward, the Kolkata Police asked the state Finance Department to protect biometric data, like fingerprints and Aadhaar card numbers, taken from property deeds or any documents on the state government’s property registration website (http://www.wbregistration.gov.in).
Lock Your Aadhaar Number and Biometric Details
The State Bank of India has advised customers to secure their biometrics using the m-Aadhaar app/UIDAI portal to prevent unauthorized account access. The Cybercrime Division of CID Karnataka has also made a similar request.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) website explains that biometric locking/unlocking is a service that lets Aadhaar holders protect and temporarily open their biometrics.
How to Lock Your Aadhaar Biometrics Online
Follow these steps:
- Go to the UIDAI website or use this link: .
- Click on ‘My Aadhaar’ and select ‘Aadhaar lock/unlock’ under ‘Aadhaar services.’
- Enter your Aadhaar number or VID.
- Type in the Captcha and click ‘Send OTP.’
- Enter the OTP sent to your registered mobile number.
- Click ‘Enable’ and enter the displayed four-digit security code.
Via mAadhaar App
- Get the mAadhaar App.
- Register your Aadhaar number.
- Enter the OTP and set a 4-digit PIN.
- Check your Aadhaar Profile.
- Tap three dots at the top, then scroll down.
- Click on ‘lock biometrics.’
- Enter your 4-digit PIN to finish.