After issuing over a Billion Aadhar cards successfully the Government of India now intends to provide many benefits to the citizens through the Unique Identification (UID) or Aadhar number scheme. But have you ever wondered that even your Aadhar identity can be misused? Although the government and the concerned authorities are taking all the necessary steps to secure the centralised data of the citizens, but like every other thing, misuse may take place in spite of all the precautions taken by the Government. Your Aadhar data may fall into wrong hands leading to Aadhar misuse, if you are not careful.
Possible ways in which Aadhar Misuse is possible:
If you lose your Aadhar or someone might happen to have the access to the details mentioned in your Aadhar, it could lead to misuse. One needs to be very careful when it comes to handling such important documents.
Here’s a list of possible ways in which Aadhar Misuse is possible:
- Installing and using any unofficial Aadhar card apps on your mobile is a serious concern for security. These apps are not verified Aadhar card apps and you never know where and how the data you share on such apps is being used. So never install any unofficial app for Aadhar card.
- It is very easy to get SIM cards with Aadhar card now-a-days as it contains the name and address info. SIM cards could be bought by fraudsters using your Aadhar information and what if you are billed for a mobile connection that you did not even buy. More than being billed wrongly, what if that number is used for illegal or criminal activities? You will be the one in trouble. One should be careful not to loose their Aadhar cards.
- Inquiry about personal details of an individual could be lot easier sometimes which may be unsafe in terms of privacy and security. Your name and address and date of birth are often used to verify a number of your internet and phone transactions with various banks as well as companies like insurance, finance and otherwise. By having access to an Aadhar card data, these details can easily be misused. Moreover the cases of identity theft also arise due to this, as anyone can get a hotel reservation, get credit cards etc. in your name and misuse them and you are the one responsible for that…. Even though it is not your fault.
- If your bank accounts and ATM transactions are linked with Aadhar number there might be a possibility the person impersonating you and getting the internet banking or phone banking details changed. He/she can then use it to their advantage as a first step towards committing a net-banking fraud. Although this is not very easy, still the Aadhar verification can make it slightly easier for them.
- Recent demonetization process of Indian currency allows you to exchange the older denominations upon producing a valid identity proof and Aadhar misuse is highly probable. You may not be able to exchange currency if someone else uses your Aadhar number or even a photocopy of Aadhaar card for money exchange.
- Some of benefits provided by Government of India like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) are more prone to Aadhar misuse as PMJDY accepts Aadhar card/number as the only document sufficient to open the bank account. So if someone has your Aadhar they can get a PMJDY account opened in your name and while you are completely unaware, this account may be used to route illegal money or to carry out shady transactions for the miscreants.
How could you prevent Aadhar Misuse?
As they say prevention is better that cure, similarly tt’s better to be aware of and avoid Aadhar misuse. Always keep following things in mind:
- For protection of your privacy, never share your Aadhar number or personal details to any unauthorized agencies for getting it laminated or printed on plastic card. You can get it laminated or printed on plastic card at authorized Common Service Centers or Aadhar Permanent Enrollment Centers. To locate a nearest Aadhar enrolment center, click here. Or call 1947 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Do note: Using the downloaded copy of Aadhar is also a valid proof of ID as the government has clearly mentioned that eAadhar is a valid proof of ID.
- People going to photocopy shops, need to very careful and ensure that they do not leave any of the photocopies of Aadhar card to avoid Aadhar misuse. Also keep an eye on the person taking out the photocopies to ensure that there are no extra copies kpet with him. Be very diligent about it.
- Always, clearly indicate the purpose for which you are submitting the photocopies of the Aadhar card or any document for that matter, along with the date and time. This actually is a good practice whenever you submit copies of any of your document for services like banking, LPG gas connection, mobile phones or any other government or non-government service. The moment you write the purpose on them, it makes it unusable and invalid for submission for any other purpose other than what is mentioned in the copy.
Since Aadhar number is a digitally verifiable identity and could be authenticated anytime and anywhere. The chances of Aadhar misuse are limited, but still being watchful and vigilant is necessary to avoid any type of Aadhar misuse. As it is rightly said “Prevention is better than cure”…. always!