The Indian government continues its battle against fraudsters seeking to take advantage of the country’s now ubiquitous national biometric ID program, Aadhaar, with a new statement cautioning citizens not to purchase plastic or laminated versions of Aadhaar cards.
In a statement, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is warning that certain “unscrupulous entities” are charging individuals 50 to 200 rupees for such Aadhaar cards, which are completely unnecessary. Sometimes these products are advertised as ‘smart Aadhaar cards’ – but there’s no such thing. And even Aadhaar cards that have been downloaded and printed are “perfectly valid for all uses,” says UIDAI CEO Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey.
The warning came January 29, mere days before an announcement that UIDAI had shut down numerous Google Play apps and websites fraudulently offering Aadhaar services, and plans to shut down more. With the reach of Aadhaar now extensive throughout the country, the issue of protecting citizens’ Aadhaar data is critical.