A voice recording cautioning people regarding an Aadhaar verification fraud is being forwarded on WhatsApp.
The recording is followed by a message which is in two parts. One part of the message is apparently from the Government of India. It says that the message is intended for Aadhaar cardholders.
"This information is for people who have an Aadhaar card. Everyone listening to this recording, stay alert and pass on the information as soon as possible (Translated to English)," reads the message.
The second part of the message is attributed to the Mumbai Police.
"Please share this information with all your contacts and in all the groups immediately," reads the message.
The Logical Indian received a request to verify the recording and the accompanying message.
According to the recording, a person impersonating an employee of a telecom company will call and say that they have called for verification of the Aadhaar card. The person will ask the person recieving to press 1 if they have an Aadhaar card following which they will ask for the Aadhaar card number.
The man speaking in the recording further claims that since everybody's bank account is linked to their Aadhaar cards, they will receive an OTP. Once this OTP Is furnished the entire amount stored in the bank account linked to the Aadhaar card will be withdrawn.
Mumbai police issued a warning against a possible Aadhaar verification fraud.
The claim is false.
The Logical Indian reached out to the DCP of Mumbai Police, Manjunath Singe, who clarified that the recording has not been "Issued by the Mumbai Police".
Reportedly, the same recording was viral 3 years ago as well.
Back then, AB Pandey, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had told Times Of India that "people should ignore such calls asking for Aadhaar details."
Sharing Aadhaar Details
Public discourse has intermittently asked whether sharing of Aadhaar card number is a breach of security.
Back in 2018, through a series of tweets, UIDAI had clarified that this is a safe practice.
The agency says that being an identity document, Aadhaar, by its very nature, needs to be shared openly with others as and when required and asked for. Aadhaar just like any other id, therefore, is never to be treated as a confidential document. By simply knowing someone's Aadhaar, no one can impersonate since the 12-digit number alone is not adequate, it requires biometrics to authenticate one's identity.
However, it does caution that while Aadhaar has to be shared with others, being a piece of personal information like mobile number, bank account number, PAN card, passport, family details, etc, Aadhaar too should be protected to ensure the privacy of a person.
Below is the entire Twitter thread from the agency:
Although the message does warn the public about a potential Aadhaar fraud, it has not been issued by the Mumbai Police.