Paytm KYC fraud: While going cashless has its benefits, there are some dangers attached that criminals take advantage of and to steal money from innocent people. Ever since the corona pandemic has hit, the public is increasingly taking to digital modes of payments in order not to handle cash, which can be a carrier of the virus. But some unscrupulous people are trying to commit fraud by taking advantage of people. The Ahmedabad cyber-crime branch on Thursday arrested a man for allegedly acquiring fingerprint scans and Aadhaar card numbers in the name of Paytm KYC and selling the data to other fraudsters, an official said on Thursday. Details emerged after the cyber-crime branch arrested Prashant Shah (37), owner of Utkarsh Human Resources in Ahmedabad.
1. They allegedly acquired fingerprint and Aadhaar data of several persons from Madhya Pradesh.
2. The accused then sold this data to fraudsters from Madhya Pradesh and Delhi
3. They used it to get jobs as agents in a payment solution firm, Easy Pay Pvt Ltd.
4. Easy Pay, which has its office in Ahmedabad, is the authorised business correspondent partner for two private sector banks and provides banking services such as money transfer and bill payment, through agents in several states, according to an official release.
5. Easy Pay’s general manager Dharmendra Sodha approached the cyber-crime branch on December 8 alleging that some of the agents had siphoned off Rs 18.94 lakh from various bank accounts, the release said.
6. The method used went like this: If a customer needed cash, the Easy Pay agent would visit him, collect his Aadhaar card number and scan his fingerprint, and if the data matched, the amount would get transferred from the customer’s bank account to Easy Pay wallet, while the agent paid the same in cash to the customer.
7. These agents were hired only after the bank verified their documents, such as Aadhaar card and PAN Card, which they needed to submit to get the job.
8. In October, one of the banks informed the company that one of the agents had cheated a customer of Rs 20,000, and subsequently similar complaints started emerging. A probe revealed that Rs 18.94 lakh had been deducted from bank accounts of 91 customers, the release stated.
9. Shah’s men had set up kiosks in different parts of Madhya Pradesh and lured people by claiming that the government will give away a free bulb.
10. To get it, they would have to opt for Paytm KYC and after collecting fingerprint and Aadhaar card data, they sent it to Shah in a pen drive.
11. The fingerprint scans were sent to Delhi for converting into “hard fingerprints” and later the data was sold to Delhi and Madhya Pradesh-based fraudsters, who got jobs as agents using that fake identity.
As per the release, they also used that data to siphon off money from customers’ bank accounts.
Paytm, meanwhile, was not immediately available for comment.
With PTI inputs