Protect your PAN card from Misuse

A PAN card is a valuable means of photo identification accepted by all Government and non-Government institutions in the country.​ PAN stands for Permanent Account Number. PAN enables the department to link all transactions of the assessee with the department. The transactions herein mentioned include tax payments, TDS/TCS credits, returns of income, specified transactions, correspondence and so on. 

The main objective of a PAN is to track and prevent tax evasion. If you do not have a PAN, the Income Tax Department may consider you to be concealing important information related to your financial transactions from them. In the absence of a PAN, you can’t enjoy the tax benefits offered by the Government and you will be liable to pay taxes at the highest rate applicable. PAN is a ten-digit unique alphanumeric number issued by the Income Tax Department.

Whether sharing PAN card detail is safe?

PAN Card is required almost everywhere. We tend to leave our PAN card copies in multiple places, without even thinking twice. With the importance of PAN card, there comes the threat as well. In a business, you share your PAN numbers with consultancies and other third-party vendors. It’s just about time for you to be careful with your PAN.

PAN as we all know is important and is linked to documents such as your Aadhaar card, passport, and bank accounts. If you share your PAN details casually, you make yourself vulnerable to identity theft. Miscreants (Unethical hackers) may make fake transactions in your name and they can have access to those linked documents/information as well, by keeping you completely in dark about it.

Do you share PAN details for online Transaction?

We all use a PAN card copy to book railway or flight tickets online. Some other online transactions also ask for the PAN card copy of the PAN number. The increasing use of PAN has also increased the possibility of identity theft of PAN cards. Safeguarding the physical copy of the PAN card no longer prevents the misuse of your PAN card. Miscreants can extract your PAN card number or Benami property deals or other high-value purchases.

Other various ways where PAN Card detail can be misuse:

As we have already discussed above, if you leave your PAN card number in the public domain, it becomes vulnerable to misuse.

  • One of such misuse has been revealed by a group that several jewellers were found to misuse PAN card information provided by travellers for the Tatkal booking of railway tickets. They had used the tax details attached to these PAN cards while selling high-value jewellery to individuals/parties who did not wish to reveal their PAN details in these transactions.
  • While applying for a credit card a PAN copy was being handed over by one of the individuals to the bank representative for applying for a new Credit card. This PAN was being misused at some other place and was sent to other states. As per the address mentioned in PAN records, a notice for non-payment of loan instalment was being received by an individual from Bank which was fraudulently done by a representative.
  • In today’s world, online transactions have become part of life. Where online fraud has become common threat personal details of an individual. Miscreants may offer you a free foreign trip, money prize, lottery etc. to get you secret information.
  • As mentioned above cases, there are similar numbers of specified transaction where PAN is mandatory and for evasion of tax, your PAN card details can be misused.
  • There are lots of ways where your PAN card details can be misused by online or offline mode. Hence don’t be under the illusion that sharing a pan card number is safe always.

Tips to protect your PAN card details:

  • In case you need to provide PAN card copies to make any online transaction, always hand over signed photocopies. Also, mention the date of use as well as the purpose of use.
  • Do not use your PAN card for any casual transaction, unless specified. otherwise.
  • keep a photocopy of all the accompanying documents you are submitting along with your PAN card.
  • Do not share your PAN details with others, apart from your immediate family members.
  • Be sure about why and where you are using your PAN details.
  • Be careful what you share, and with whom.

The above tips can be applied while sharing your Aadhar Card Detail and other personal details at a public place or online domain.

NOTE:This article is only for spreading awareness that how your PAN card details can be misused if you don’t take appropriate due care while sharing details.

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