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Aadhaar Fraud: ₹20K Drained From Woman’s Bank Account in Karnataka

Miscreants have siphoned a sum of ₹20,000 from a woman’s bank account, in the first Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) fraud in Karnataka, officials familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

According to police, the incident came to light when Sunita Ravikumar, a resident of Vasanthnagar in Bengaluru, discovered unauthorised deductions of ₹10,000 each on September 6 and 7 from her account. Pertubed by the transactions, Sunita visited the branch of Union Bank to seek answers regarding the suspicious withdrawals. She further registered a police complaint highlighting the fraud. 

In response to Sunita’s complaint, the High Grounds police registered a case under the section 66D of Information Technology (IT) Act and initiated a thorough investigation into the matter. 

The Aadhaar Enabled Payment System is a technology that links an individual’s bank account with their Aadhaar account, allowing transactions and withdrawals to be executed using biometric authentication. In this case, it appears that cybercriminals used Sunita’s biometrics to illicitly access her funds with the help of AEPS technology. 

According to the police, the culprits had used Sunita’s biometrics to execute the unauthorised transactions. Officers privy to the investigation confirmed that money had been transferred from her account without her consent, shedding light on the sophisticated nature of the AEPS fraud. 

Police said that Sunita had shared her biometric information while selling a property in Davanagere recently. They have decided to issue notices to the individuals involved in the property transaction. However, it is still unknown that from where and how the fraudulent bank transactions were done.

“We have registered a case under section 66D of the IT Act 2000 and investigation is going on,” Highgrounds police inspector H Shiva Swamy told HT. He said the Union Bank’s technical team has also launched a probe into the incident and they have sought help from the cyber wing of the police to crack the case. 

He said investigation is underway and the accused would be nabbed soon.

On February 9, the cybercrime wing of the Kadapa police in Andhra Pradesh had busted an inter-state racket where the cybercriminals had used fingerprints of account holders to withdraw money from various bank accounts, via AEPS technology.