Cybercriminals are now targeting farmers and uneducated people living in rural areas. A breakthrough made by Azamgarh Police reveals how criminals are siphoning money from uneducated people’s account by cloning their fingerprint and withdrawing money through Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS).
Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS) is a type of payment system that is based on the Unique Identification Number and allows Aadhaar cardholders to seamlessly make financial transactions through Aadhaar-based authentication. The AePS system aims to empower all sections of the society especially people from rural areas for using financial and banking services through Aadhaar.
The investigation by Azamgarh police reveals that AePS which allows customers to make payments using their Aadhaar number and by providing Aadhaar verification at point of Sale (PoS) or micro ATMs was being misused by the cybercriminals.
Cops received a complaint from Murarpur resident Sukha Devi and seven others who were duped to the tune of Rs 1.5 lakh.
Explaining the case, Azamgarh Superintendent of Police Triveni Singh said, “During our investigation, we found that the money was withdrawn using AePS. We found that victims’ fingerprints were cloned and the transactions were made from their accounts.”
Further investigation revealed that customer service centre operator – Ashish Raj Bahar was involved in the crime who duped gullible account holder and made a clone of their fingerprints by asking them to update their PAN card, ration card and Aadhar. He had installed a cloning device through which he made a copy of fingerprints and further misused it.
Singh explained that for AePS only fingerprints are required while the customer doesn’t receive an OTP, which is mandatory for any card-based payment. The gang targeted uneducated and non-technical people so that they could not immediately check their bank details.
“It is advised that two-factor authentication is followed for such transactions. This will only increase the security and it becomes difficult to bypass two-layer of security,” Singh said.
For all the transactions these customers got SMS from their bank intimating about the transaction but victims’ never found that they were duped as all the SMS was in English. “These victims never suspected foul play as bank SMS are always in English which they don’t understand so they always ignore it. There should be a provision to use vernacular languages by the bank so that customers living in rural areas are informed,” Singh explained.
There are several such gangs on the prowl who are looking for an opportunity to cheat innocent people