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In India, 68% people faced tech support scams in past year: Microsoft survey

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New Delhi, Oct 16: Keeping with the global trend, 68 per cent people in India have experienced tech support scams in the past year and some of them (14 per cent) have even lost money, a Microsoft survey said on Tuesday.

Tech support scams are a problem worldwide, with three out of five people globally having experienced one in the past year and one in five losing money to fraudsters, according to the “Tech Support Scam Survey 2018” released by Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit.

A technical support scam refers to fraud in which a scammer claims to offer a technical support service, often via calls to unsuspecting users.

“These sophisticated scams are evolving from cold calls to fake online pop-up ads and fraudulent websites – and affect everyone, even savvy online users,” said the survey.

Additionally, the cost of these scams goes beyond monetary loss, with people reporting higher stress levels after dealing with this type of fraud.

“However, since 2016, India is experiencing fewer tech support scams, with 68 per cent in 2018 versus 80 per cent in 2016,” the findings showed.

Among those surveyed in India, 40 per cent continued with the scam while 28 per cent ignored the scam.

“While 14 per cent of people in India continued with the scam and lost money, 84 per cent experienced severe/moderate stress levels after experiencing the scam,” said the findings.

Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit has been working to combat this type of global cybercrime by using a data-driven approach to investigate tech support fraud networks and refer cases to law enforcement as appropriate.

It is also strengthening its products and services to better protect consumers from various fraudulent tactics and educating consumers about how to stay safe online.

If you receive a notification or call from someone claiming to be from a reputable software company, be wary of any unsolicited pop-up message on your device, don’t click on it, and don’t call the number.

“Microsoft will never pro-actively reach out to you to provide unsolicited PC or technical support. Any communication we have with you must be initiated by you,” said the company.

IANS

India

Congress backs Bharat Bandh, Rahul Gandhi says new agriculture laws will ‘enslave’ farmers

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Voicing support for the Bharat Bandh call given by farmer organisations to protest the farm bills, the Congress on Friday alleged that the new agriculture laws will “enslave” farmers and the MSP will be “snatched away” from them.

Various farmer groups have called for a nationwide shutdown on Friday against the three bills, which were passed by both houses of Parliament during the Monsoon session and await presidential assent.

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Randeep Surjewala spoke out against the farm bills and backed the Bharat Bandh.

“A flawed GST destroyed MSMEs. The new agriculture laws will enslave our farmers,” former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted with the hashtag ‘I Support Bharat Bandh’.

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AgustaWestland: Court takes cognisance of CBI suppl charge sheet

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 A Delhi court on Friday took cognisance of the supplementary charge sheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal scam.

On September 19, the agency had filed the charge sheet against 15 accused, including alleged middleman Christian Michel and accused turned approver Rajiv Saxena.

Special Judge Arvind Kumar of Delhi’s Rouse Avenue Court has now issued summonses to the accused and listed the matter for October 23.

In the supplementary charge sheet, the CBI has named Sandeep Tyagi, Praveen Bakshi, Partap Krishan Aggarwal, the then Managing Director of IDS Infotech Limited, Narendra Kumar Jain, Rajesh Kumar Jain of Kolkata, Sunil Kothari, then Managing Director of OM Metals Infotech Private Limited, and Kunhikrishnan, a close associate of Michel.

The agency has also named Saxena, then Director of Interstellar Technologies Limited; Giacomino Saponaro, then Managing Director of AgustaWestland International Limited; Deepak Goyal, an official of Gautam Khaitan; IDS Infotech Limited, Aeromatrix Info Solutions Private Limited, Neel Madhav Consultants Private Limited, Mainak Agency Private Limited, and Interstellar Technologies Limited in the case.

The CBI alleged that British national Michel paid Rs 90 lakh as consultancy fee to KV Kunhikrishnan, a former GM of Westland Support Services Limited, who had received documents and information related to the proposal to buy 12 VVIP choppers.

The agency asserted that during further investigation, it was found that Sanjeev Tyagi and Sandeep Tyagi (both cousins of former IAF chief SP Tyagi) through Neel Madhav Consultants Private Limited acquired Mainak Agency Private Limited at Kolkata in 2009 to launder illicit kickbacks and received approximately Rs 5 crore through banking channels in collusion with NK Jain, RK Jain and Kothari, who created shell companies and opened fake accounts in different banks for returning such kickbacks.

It was further alleged that in pursuance of the conspiracy, co-accused Agarwal, Bakshi, and Saxena through their companies had facilitated in routing the kickbacks paid by AgustaWestland at the UK.

Saxena was brought from Dubai in January 2019 and made an approver by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the VVIP chopper deal case but the financial probe agency later sought revocation of this status by saying that he misled the investigators.

The case pertains to the purchase of 12 AW-101 helicopters built by Italian defence manufacturing giant Finmeccanica (now known as Leonardo) at an estimated cost of Rs 3,600 crore for ferrying VVIPs.

In the deal, bribes were allegedly paid to middlemen and others. The purchase was cleared in 2010 by the then UPA government.

On January 1, 2014, India cancelled the contract with Finmeccanica’s British subsidiary AgustaWestland due to alleged breach of contractual obligations and payment of kickbacks amounting to Rs 423 crore.

The CBI had earlier filed a charge sheet in this case on September 1, 2017 against then Air Chief Marshal Tyagi and 11 other accused.

In its first charge sheet, the CBI had established a “money trail” of 62 million euros (around Rs 415 crore) out of the suspected 67 million euros (Rs 452 crore) total bribe paid to Indians through middlemen.

The second charge sheet does not name any politician or senior bureaucrat.

Source: IANS

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Stand with 62 crore farmers: Congress

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New Delhi: The Congress on Friday made an appeal to the people to join the farmers’ agitation and oppose the Farm Bills, which have been passed by Parliament.

Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala said, “Nation should stand with 62 crore farmers who are protesting against the draconian law.”

He alleged that the Prime Minister has done this to help the crony capitalists, and “he does not care for the poor”.

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said in a tweet, “This is to make farmers slaves and the farmers will become labourers in their fields and neither they will get the MSP nor respect.”

While cutting across the party lines, day long statewide protests by farmers in Punjab and Haryana began on Friday morning.

Heavy police force has been deployed in both the states to deal with any untoward situation.

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