News Flash – 18 January 2020

National News



Luxury Bus Catches Fire, All Passengers Safe

This bus caught fire at Ghodbunder Road, Thane, around 7am on Friday.



Mumbai: A luxury bus from Gujarat with around 25 passengers on board caught fire on Ghodbunder Road in Thane around 7am on Friday. While no casualty was reported, passengers lost their luggage. Details of the losses are being ascertained. Kashimira police said the bus that had left Ahmedabad and was headed to Pune had reached the toll naka on Ghodbunder Road when a passenger noticed flames emanating from its rear side. He informed the driver who immediately parked the vehicle and asked the passengers to alight. The bus was up in flames soon but fortunately all passengers had alighted by then, said the police. Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) fire brigade personnel reached the spot and tried to contain the flames. It took the firemen over an hour to douse the flames. The bus was completely charred though. While the cause of the fire is not known, fire officials suspect that some inflammable substance might have been stocked in the luggage compartment of the bus.



Actor-Director Loses Rs.1.6L after Debit Card Cloned


Mumbai: Actor-director Anand Balraj lost Rs 1.6 lakh after his debit card was alleged cloned and the amount was withdrawn from ATMs in Kherwadi and Vakola. Anand cut short a work trip, returned here on January 8 and an FIR was lodged with Oshiwara police after 16 withdrawals were done from his nationalised bank savings account between December 31, 2019, and January 7, 2020. Anand, who has acted in ‘Ram Lakhan’, ‘Khal Nayak’ and ‘Pardes’, was on countrywide event tours when the money was withdrawn. “Normally, I check my mobile for transaction alerts when I use my card for online payments or to pay hotel bills. I saw these text messages after a week as I was touring. I cut short my assignments in Noida and returned to lodge a complaint within 24 hours,” Anand told TOI. The actor left for Dehradun on December 30 to attend the shows. “After completing the assignment, I did another one in Mussoorie and then reached Delhi. On January 7, when I reached Noida, I found at least 16 transaction alerts and Rs10,000-30,000 was withdrawn every day.



I immediately reported it to the nearest bank branch in Noida. The branch in Andheri (W) told me to return at the earliest and lodge a complaint,” said Anand. The actor criticised the way police behaved while registering the case. “Police asked all unwanted questions. It is sad, how a normal individual faces problem. They are made to run from pillar to post in lodging a complaint. A solution is needed by government and police to tackle this rising menace of online fraud. More awareness programmes are needed. Directives should be issued on what must be done by victims of online fraud,” he said. A case under IPC and IT Act was registered. Senior inspector Dayanand Bangar said the cyber team was probing the case. “We are collecting details from Pune police and cyber police in Mumbai, which had arrested a gang cloning cards recently. Such frauds are mostly linked to Noida. The address used to open the account turns out to be fake,” said Bangar.



FASTag Fraud: Cybersecurity Expert Shares PIN, OTP, Loses Rs.50k in 8 Minutes



Bengaluru: If you thought ranting about poor customer service on social media could get you a quick response, think again: you could even fall prey to online fraudsters. A city-based cybersecurity specialist lost Rs 50,000 when he took to Twitter to complain about a bank after multiple attempts to recharge his FASTag wallet failed. A complaint to this effect was lodged with Hennur police on Wednesday. This is the first online fraud being reported in the city with FASTag as the bait. The victim, Nikhil (name changed on request) of Banaswadi, told TOI: “On January 11, I raised a complaint on Twitter about problems with recharging FASTag issued by Axis Bank. The bank staff responded and sought the registered number and contact details. In my response, I provided my contact details. On January 13, I got a call from a person who claimed to be from Axis Bank’s customer helpdesk”. Nikhil took it to be a genuine response. The caller sent me a link through SMS which said, ‘Axis Bank — FASTag form’ and asked me to provide a few details in order to activate my FASTag wallet. In the form, I provided details like my full name, registered mobile number and Unified Payment Interface (UPI) PIN.



I thought the application itself served as a point of recharge. I typed the PIN and submitted it. Subsequently, I was told that the helpdesk had generated a one-time pass (OTP) which was sent to my phone. The caller told me to send the OTP to a different number and I did accordingly. The moment Nikhil shared the OPT, he got a notification stating Rs 5,000 had been debited from his account. “I realised someone had hacked my UPI and was transferring the money. I quickly logged into my account and tried to block it, but it was too late. They had already withdrawn Rs 50,000 from my HDFC account and Rs 750 from my ICICI Bank. The UPI was linked to both the accounts”. Nikhil said he should have been more cautious and not shared the UPI PIN. “They withdrew money in less than eight minutes. I was able to save Rs 30,000 by transferring the amount to a different account before they could lay their hands on it,” he added. Nikhil started probing on his own and collected details pertaining to the fraud before approaching police. “Miscreants were sending these forms sitting in West Bengal and siphoning off money,” Nikhil said and added: “I have learnt a lesson. I appeal to others not to fall prey to Scamsters”.



International News



China Reports Second Death from New Virus



Beijing: A second person has died from a new coronavirus that has caused an outbreak of pneumonia in central China, health authorities said. A 69-year-old man surnamed Xiong fell ill with the respiratory condition on December 31, according to a statement late on Thursday from the Wuhan municipal health commission. He died on Wednesday. Xiong exhibited abnormal renal function, severe impairment in multiple organs, inflammation of the heart muscle and other pressing conditions when he was admitted to the hospital. It was not clear from the commission’s statement whether these were preexisting issues or consequences of the viral pneumonia. In total, 41 people in Wuhan have been diagnosed with a novel coronavirus, a family of viruses that can cause both the common cold and more severe diseases like SARS and MERS. As of Thursday, 12 patients have been cured and discharged and five were being treated for acute conditions. Xiong’s is the second death tied with the outbreak. Last Saturday, a 61-year-old who had abdominal tumours and chronic liver disease died. Authorities have tracked over 700 people who were in close contact with infected patients. Two patients in Thailand and another in Japan have been diagnosed with the virus. The Chinese government is keen to avoid a repeat of SARS. The SARS epidemic began in southern China in late 2002, then spread to more than 24 countries, killing 800 people.

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