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World Scammers try selling world's tallest statue as pandemic boosts India's cyber crime

09:26  07 april  2020
09:26  07 april  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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MUMBAI (Reuters) - Police in India lodged a case this week against an unknown online fraudster who tried selling the world ' s largest statue for billion, claiming the proceeds would be used to help the Gujarat state government fund its fight against the coronavirus. While the plot to sell the ' Statue of

India has unveiled the world ' s tallest statue , which cost 29.9bn rupees (£330m; 0m) to build. The 182m (600ft) high structure in the western state of Patel was India ' s first interior minister and deputy prime minister. He was known as the "Iron Man of India " after he persuaded feuding states to unite

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Police in India lodged a case this week against an unknown online fraudster who tried selling the world's largest statue for $4 billion, claiming the proceeds would be used to help the Gujarat state government fund its fight against the coronavirus.

a castle on a rocky beach: General view of the © Reuters/AMIT DAVE General view of the "Statue of Unity" portraying Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the founding fathers of India, during its inauguration in Kevadia

While the plot to sell the 'Statue of Unity", a monument that is nearly twice the height of New York's Statue of Liberty, is among the most brazen cases, police say cybercrimes have surged since the health scare gripped the country.

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The world ' s tallest statue is nearing completion in India . It is designed to be a 182m (600ft) high tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a Image copyright Reuters. Image caption Sardar Patel is revered by many Hindu nationalists. Mr Patel was a deputy to India ' s prime minister after independence in

The world ’ s tallest statue was unveiled today in the western Indian state of Gujarat at a VIP ceremony officiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. At 597 feet, the sculpture is almost twice the height of the Statue of Liberty and dwarfs the Spring Temple Buddha in China

With scams ranging from free mobile recharges, to offers of free Netflix subscriptions, federal home ministry officials say there has been 86% percent rise in cyber crime in the past four weeks.

Police and internal security officials said scammers have created fake versions of the flagship 'PM CARES Fund' payments interface that look deceptively similar to the original and many Indians and Non-Residents Indians (NRIs) have fallen prey.

"We have received over 8,300 complaints from individuals across India and NRIs who have donated thousands of dollars into fake accounts," said a senior home ministry official, adding the retrieval process is a complex task. 

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Indian officials have begun relocating some 300 crocodiles from a reservoir next to the world ' s tallest statue to allow a seaplane service for visitors. But there are no train services and most tourists reach the site, known as " Statue of Unity", by bus. Image copyright AFP.

snowy mountains, to escape the world ' s most dangerous game. a man who works at the customs house took it and tried to sell it but when the person he tried to sell it to rejected it he released it. This animal carries a deadly virus and the greatest medical crisis in the world is about to happen.

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"We have already blocked all handles with permutations and combinations of the 'PM Cares Fund' that were illegitimate and we are being watchful and ensuring that the handles for donations get verified," said Dilip Asbe, CEO of National Payments Corporation of India, an umbrella organisation for retail payments. 

Police have registered cases against fake offers that Reliance Industries telecom arm Jio and streaming service Netflix Inc were offering discounted services at a time when over 1.3 billion people were forced to live indoors for 21 days to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Officials at Netflix and Jio declined to comment on the fraud conducted under their company's name.

CERT-In, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team and ReBIT, the technology arm of Reserve Bank of India recently issued warnings about online threats and scams and asked financial institutions to be aware.

"The U.S. Secret Service has also warned nations that during time of uncertainty and increased online activity, cyber criminals are actively working to exploit the current COVID-19 story with attacks aimed at taking advantage of the situation," said Nitin Bhatnagar, a senior official at PCI Security Standards Council, a global standards body for the payment card industry.

(Additional reporting by Sumit Khanna in Ahmedabad, Shilpa Jamkhandikar in Mumbai, Sankalp Phartiyal in Delhi; Writing by Rupam Jain; Editing by Euan Rocha & Simon Cameron-Moore)

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