In today's digital age protecting your personal information is of utmost importance. The bad actors are constantly on the lookout for ways to misuse your sensitive or personal data. The Aadhaar card is a crucial document that is utilised by all of us for various aspects. It is considered your official government-verified ID and is used for various purposes such as for verification purposes, KYC purposes, and even for financial transactions. Your Aadhaar card is used in so many ways such as flight tickets booked by travel agents, check-in in hotels, verification at educational institutions and more. The bad actors can target and lure the victims by unauthorized access to your Aadhaar data and commit cyber frauds such as identity theft, unauthorized access, and financial fraud. Hence it is significantly important to protect your personal information and Aadhaar card details and prevent the misuse of your personal information.
What is fingerprint cloning?
Cybercrooks have been exploiting the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS). These scams entail cloning individuals' Aadhaar-linked biometrics through silicon fingerprints and unauthorized biometric devices, subsequently siphoning money from their bank accounts. Fingerprint cloning also known as fingerprint spoofing is a technique or a method where an individual tries to replicate someone else's fingerprint for unauthorized use. This is done for various reasons, including gaining unauthorized access to data, unlocking data or committing identity theft. The process of fingerprint cloning includes collection and creation.
The recent case of Aadhaar Card fingerprint cloning in Nawada
Nawada Cyber Police unit has arrested two perpetrators who were engaged in fingerprint cloning fraud. The criminals are accused of duping consumers of money from their bank accounts by cloning their fingerprints. Among the two perpetrators, one of them runs the Common Service Centre (CSC) whereas the second is a sweeper at the DBGB branch bank. The criminals are accused of duping consumers of money from their bank accounts by cloning their fingerprints. According to the police, an organized gang of cyber criminals had been defrauding the consumers for the last two years with the help of a CSC operator and were embezzling money from the accounts of consumers by cloning their fingerprints and taking Aadhaar numbers. The operator used to collect the Aadhaar number from the consumers by putting their thumb impression on a register. Among these two perpetrators, one was accused of withdrawing more money from the consumer's account and making less payment and sometimes not making the payment after withdrawing the money. Whereas the second perpetrator stole the data of consumers from the DBGB branch bank and prepared their fingerprint clone. During the investigation of a case related to fraud, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Cyber Police conducted raids in Govindpur and Roh police station areas on the basis of technical surveillance and available evidence and arrested them.
Safety measures for the security of your Aadhaar Card data
- Locking your biometrics: One way to save your Aadhaar card and prevent unauthorized access is by locking your biometrics. To lock & unlock your Aadhaar biometrics you can visit the official website of UIDAI or its official portal. So go to UIDAI’s and select the “Lock/Unlock Biometrics” from the Aadhar service section. Then enter the 12-digit Aadhaar number and security code and click on the OTP option. An OTP will be sent to your registered mobile number with Aadhaar. Once the OTP is received enter the OTP and click on the login button that will allow you to lock your biometrics. Enter the 4-digit security code mentioned on the screen and click on the “Enable” button. Your biometrics will be locked and you will have to unblock them in case you want to access them again. The official website of UIDAI is “https://uidai.gov.in/” and there is a dedicated Aadhar helpline 1947.
- Use masked Aadhaar Card: A masked Aadhaar card is a different rendition of an Aadhaar card that is designed to amplify the privacy and security of an individual Aadhaar number. In a masked Aadhaar card, the first eight digits of the twelve digits Aadhaar number are replaced by XXXX- XXXX and only the last four digits are visible. This adds an additional layer of protection to an individual Aadhaar’s number. To download a masked Aadhaar card you visit the government website of UIDAI and on the UIDAI homepage, you will see a "Download Aadhaar" option. Click on it. In the next step, you will be required to enter your 12-digit Aadhaar number along with the security code displayed on the screen. After entering your Aadhaar number, click on the Send OTP. You will receive an OTP on your registered phone number. Enter the OTP received in the provided field and click on the “Submit” button. You will be asked to select the format of your Aadhaar card, You can choose the masked Aadhaar card option. This will replace the first eight digits of your Aadhaar number with "XXXX-XXXX" on the downloaded Aadhaar card. Once the format is selected, click on the “Download Aadhaar” button and your masked Aadhaar card will be downloaded. So if any organisation requires your Aadhaar for verification you can share your masked Aadhar card which only shows the last 4 digits of your Aadhaar card number. Just the way you keep your bank details safe you should also keep your Aadhaar number secure otherwise people can misuse your identity and use it for fraud.
- Monitoring your bank account transactions: Regularly monitor your bank account statements for any suspicious activity and you can also configure transaction alerts with your bank account transactions.
It is important to secure your Aadhaar card data effectively. The valuable security measure option of locking biometrics provides an additional layer of security. It safeguards your identity from potential scammers. By locking your biometrics you can secure your biometric data and other personal information preventing unauthorized access and any misuse of your Aadhaar card data. In today's evolving digital landscape protecting your personal information is of utmost importance. The cyber hygiene practices, safety and security measures must be adopted by all of us hence establishing cyber peace and harmonizing cyberspace.