News Flash – 24 February 2020

National News



Fraudsters Exploit Remote Access Apps to Dupe Victims



Hyderabad: Posing as employees of e-wallet service providers, cyber fraudsters have been duping hundreds of people by making them install remote desktop access applications such as Team-Viewer Quick Support and AnyDesk. On January 9, B Venkatesh, a 53-year-old steel merchant from Ram Nagar approached cybercrime sleuths of Hyderabad stating that an unknown person had called him on January 7. Introducing himself as Rajendra Prasad, an employee of Paytm, the caller asked him to update KYC details of his Paytm account. “The fraudster asked the complainant to download AnyDesk app in his phone to update KYC details. After making the complainant install AnyDesk, the accused remotely accessed his cell phone by obtaining the access code from him. Subsequently, the fraudster obtained Paytm account details of the complainant, including UPI PIN and siphoned off Rs.1.03 lakh from his bank account,” cybercrime inspector D Prashant said. On January 7, T Anand, 59, a private employee from Ameerpet, lodged a complaint with cybercrime sleuths alleging that he received an SMS on January 6 stating that his Paytm account had expired.



“In the message, the fraudsters mentioned a fake contact number of Paytm customer care. When Anand called the fake number, the fraudster made him install TeamViewer Quick Support remote desktop access app. After the installation of the app, the fraudster gained access to the mobile phone of the victim by obtaining the required code from him. As per the instructions of the fraudster, the accused also made the victim recharge his Paytm wallet with the linked ICICI bank account and made him link his credit card to the wallet, all the while looking at the cell phone details remotely. With the information obtained, they siphoned off Rs.1.88 lakh from his bank account and his credit card,” the inspector said. Similarly, on January 21, a case was registered based on the complaint of Md. Saqib Jawab, an Imam of a mosque in Tolichowki, regarding fraudsters siphoning off Rs. 40,000 off him by posing as representatives of Bank of Baroda and making him install AnyDesk app. According to the cybercrime police, fraudsters also siphoned off Rs. Rs 1.96 lakh from the bank account of businessman P Narsing Rao Aravind Kumar of Narayanguda and Rs. 99,000 from businessman Dheeraj Agarwal of Bahadurpura, posing as customer care executives of banks or e-wallet services and making them install the Quick Support app.



Houses, Shops Set Ablaze as Trinamool Man Dies

At least 10 houses and some shops were set ablaze in the violence in Churabhandar that followed a Trinamool Congress worker’s death in an attack.



Jalpaiguri: Hours after a Trinamool Congress activist died in hospital on Saturday following an attack, suspected party workers went on the rampage at Churabhandar in Maynaguri in this north Bengal district setting ablaze 10 houses and some shops on Sunday evening. Around 20 BJP supporters were said to be injured in the attack at Churabhandar, which is said to be a saffron party stronghold where Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a rally on February 8, 2019. Trinamool activist Bhombal Ghosh (34) was hacked on February 14, allegedly by BJP workers, and he died at North Bengal Medical College Hospital (NBMCH) on Saturday evening. Police said Ghosh had suffered a severe head injury. A BJP worker, Tapas Roy, was arrested on Sunday, and police have filed an FIR against 15 men, including a Tripura Police personnel. BJP workers alleged that the attack on the houses of party workers started in the presence of police after Roy’s arrest. Violence broke out after Ghosh’s body was brought to Churabhandar from NBMCH, and Trinamool functionaries, alleged BJP activists, delivered a virulent speech against BJP blaming its workers for the death. Later, Trinamool supporters put up a blockade in the area preventing police from reaching the trouble spot. Trinamool Youth Congress district president Saikat Chatterjee ruled out the involvement of his party workers in any violence. He said it was the result of an internal feud in BJP. BJP’s Shyam Pradhan, however, said Ghosh was killed due to infighting in Trinamool and saffron-party workers were subsequently implicated in the murder. Jalpaiguri SP Abhishek Modi said a strong police force has been deployed to control the situation.



International News



Concern Over Coronavirus Spread Grows with Jump in Cases Globally

VENICE CARNIVAL CALLED OFF: Italy stepped up measures on Sunday to ban public gatherings amid rapidly rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in the country, calling off the famed Venice Carnival attended by thousands of revellers. Buses, trains and other forms of public transport, including boats in Venice, are being disinfected. Museums have been ordered to shut down after Sunday in Venice, a top tourist draw anytime of the year.



Seoul/Shanghai: International concern about the spread of coronavirus outside China grew on Sunday with sharp rises in infections in three countries — South Korea, Italy and Iran. South Korea went on high alert after the number of infections surged over 600 with six deaths. Italy saw a rise to 132 cases and imposed stringent curbs in parts of the country to try to stop the spread. Iran has reported 43 cases, with eight deaths. In China, which has seen the vast majority of cases, authorities reported 648 new infections — higher than a day earlier — but only 18 were outside of Hubei province, the lowest number outside the epicentre since authorities began publishing data a month ago and locked down large parts of the country. The virus has killed 2,442 people in China, which has reported 76,936 cases, and has slammed the brakes on the world’s second largest economy. It has spread to some 26 other countries and territories, with a toll of around two dozen, according to a Reuters tally. President Moon Jae-in on Sunday put South Korea on the highest possible alert in its fight against the coronavirus. “The coming few days will be a critical time for us,” he said at an emergency meeting of government officials to discuss the outbreak, which in just days has spiraled to 602 confirmed infections and six deaths. “The central government, local governments, health officials and medical personnel and the entire people must wage an all-out, concerted response to the problem.” By raising the alert to Level 4, or “serious,” Moon authorised the government to take steps like barring visitors from specific countries and restricting public transportation, as well as locking down cities, as China has done.



Many of South Korea’s coronavirus cases are in the southeastern city of Daegu, which has essentially been placed under a state of emergency, though people are still free to enter and leave the city. A 59-year-old man on Sunday was the sixth person to die in the country after contracting the virus. Health officials in Italy raced to contain the first major coronavirus outbreak in Europe, locking down more than 50,000 people in 10 towns in the northern Lombardy region, where a sizeable cluster of coronavirus infections has emerged, and passing emergency measures that apply throughout the country. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Italy has risen by 89 to 132, officials said on Sunday, and 88 of those cases are in the Lombardy region. At least three people have died, including a 77-yearold woman and a 78-year-old man, and at least 26 are in intensive care, officials said. Responding to the sudden spike, officials closed schools and cancelled the last two days of the Venice carnival, which draws thousands of people from around the world. Officials also cancelled trade fairs, opera performances and soccer matches, in a test of whether the virus can be successfully contained in relatively open European societies. Two military structures in Lombardy were being prepared to become isolation camps while a military base in Rome has been housing evacuees from Wuhan, Chin. The base is also housing the Italian passengers of the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship that has been under quarantine in Yokohama, Japan. Officials also announced two cases in Venice for the first time, as the number of cases in the Veneto region, where Venice is the capital, rose to 25.



The announcement to cancel the Venice carnival was made after an estimated 20,000 people attended an event in St Mark’s Square on Sunday morning. Carnival activities, which began on February 8 with tens of thousands of people gathering in St. Mark’s, were to end on Tuesday. Pakistan and Turkey temporarily closed their borders with Iran on Sunday, as Tehran announced that it would close schools, universities and cultural centres across 14 provinces in an effort to curb the coronavirus. The outbreak has killed at least eight people in Iran, state TV said. The health ministry said on Saturday that 43 people had tested positive, with eight deaths, state-run Press TV reported. Pakistan’s 959-km border with Iran is mostly porous, and controlling a potential spread of the coronavirus poses a major challenge. “Due to the very serious nature of coronavirus outbreak in Iran, we have to take stringent precautionary measures,” Mir Zia Ullah, the home minister of Balochistan province, which borders Iran, said. “All kind of movement has been suspended”. Turkey’s health minister, Fahrettin Koca, said, “Because of the fact that the picture in Iran is getting worse, we decided to temporarily shut down our border with our neighbour. Land and rail crossings from Iran to our country will be stopped. All international flights will be temporarily and one-sidedly stopped.” Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq and Turkey imposed travel and immigration restrictions on Iran on Sunday.

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