The present government is going all-out to ensure that the Aadhaar Card is everyone's utmost priority.
From linking it with our bank accounts and PAN numbers, we're now constantly receiving calls and messages asking us to link our Aadhaar Cards with our phone numbers as well.
While some see this as a natural progression, there are others who aren't so keen.
And if you're convinced that there's nothing fraudulent about linking your phone number with your Aadhaar Card, what happened with Mumbai-resident Shashwat Gupta will make you think otherwise.
Shashwat, who works for a private firm in Kozhikode, got duped of ₹1.3 Lakh under the pretext of linking his phone with his Aadhaar.
In Shaswat's case, the fraudster asked him to send an SMS with his SIM card number to Airtel’s customer care number. After he said he didn't know the customer care number, the caller sent him a number. Turns out, that number was for obtaining a duplicate SIM when the existing one has been cancelled.
Using Shaswat's phone, the hacker then withdrew the massive amount from his bank account.
He shared the entire incident on Facebook to warn everyone:
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.
Thankfully, ICCI Bank replied to his post and we're hoping something is done to help him out.
However, this incident is sure to get many people worried about the consequences of linking their phone numbers to their Aadhaar.
A lot can happen with just your phone number!