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Fraudsters stole PAN details of Dhoni, Shilpa Shetty. How to secure your data


The Centre has given all eligible citizens until March 31 to link their PAN with their Aadhaar card. It has also become a requirement to link PAN to bank accounts. But did you know that the majority of “banking frauds” involve PAN and Aadhaar cards? PAN frauds have also reached to the level of celebrities where the PAN details of cricketer MS Dhoni, actors like Shilpa Shetty, Abhishek Bachchan and others were recently reported to have been misused.

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How to check if your PAN has been misused?Checking your CIBIL report (credit score) is the best way to see if someone is misusing your PAN card. The statement details contain all of the loans you have obtained using PAN. If any loan on the list is availed without your knowledge, it might have been obtained through fraudulent means. To check your CIBIL report, follow these steps.

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Step 1: Various credit information bureaus like TransUnion CIBIL, Equifax, Experian, Paytm, Bank Bazaar or CRIF High Mark are available on the internet.

Step 2: Navigate to any of the above websites and look for the “Check credit score” option.

Step 3: Enter accurate information about your date of birth, name, email address, registered mobile number, and PAN. You may be required to enter an OTP to verify your mobile number.

Step 4: You will have access to your credit score. It will also list any loans that are currently in your name.

How to report misuse of PAN card?The Income-tax Department has created an electronic website for filing PAN Grievances through Aaykar Sampark Kendra (ASK). Follow these steps to report any PAN misuse.

Step 1: Go to the TIN NSDL official website. On the Home page, go to the Customer Service section.

Step 2: Select the “Customer service” tab. It will lead to a drop-down menu.

Step 3: From the drop-down menu, select “Complaints/Queries”. It will take you to a complaint form.

Step 4: Fill out this form with accurate information about the nature of your complaint. Enter the Captcha code and press the “Submit” button.

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How to avoid PAN card frauds?- Avoid entering PAN details everywhere. Instead, double-check the website’s authenticity. Instead, use the IDs which are less vulnerable such as a driver’s licence, voter ID, and Aadhaar cards.

– Try to submit PAN photocopies only to authentic individuals or businesses. Additionally, sign and date these photocopies. Finally, keep track of where you send these.

– Check your credit score on online portals on a regular basis.

– Remove PAN card information from your phone.

How celebrities’ PAN details were obtained by fraudsters?A group of fraudsters allegedly procured PAN details of several Bollywood actors and cricketers from their GST Identification Numbers which are available online, and got credit cards issued in their names from Pune-based fintech startup ‘One Card’, according to a Livemint report.

The Livemint report further said that the fraudsters obtained these celebrities’ GST details from Google. They were aware that the first two digits of the GSTIN represent the state code and the next 10 digits represent the PAN number. Since the celebrities’ dates of birth can be found on Google, these two — PAN and date of birth — round out the PAN details. They had their PAN cards fraudulently remade with their own photos so that during video verification, their appearance matched the photo on the PAN/Aadhaar card.

They then forged their Aadhaar details in the same way. They applied for credit cards once they had this information. During video verification, they were asked questions about their financial activities, which they easily answered because they had all such information from CIBIL. They were aware that these celebrities might have high CIBIL scores, which would increase their chances of getting credit cards.

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