Gold falls on low demand

The yellow metal had gained Rs300 in the last two trading sessions; prices fell despite positive global cues

Snapping a two-day upward march, gold prices fell by Rs95 to Rs16,855 per 10 grams in the bullion market here today on reduced off-take at existing levels, despite positive global cues, reports PTI.

Standard gold and ornaments fell by Rs95 each to Rs16,855 and Rs16,705 per 10 grams, respectively. The metal had gained Rs300 in the last two trading sessions.

However, sovereign remained flat at Rs14,000 per eight-gram piece.

Analysts said low demand at existing levels led to the fall in gold prices, though the metal was trading higher in overseas markets where it gained 0.4% to $1,155.38 an ounce.

Some investors were also seen shifting their funds from bullion to the rising equity markets for quick gains, which put pressure on the metal’s prices, analysts said.

Silver ready too declined by Rs25 to Rs27,775 per kg and weekly-based delivery shed Rs10 to trade at Rs27,560 per kg. On the other hand, rates of silver coins remained unchanged at Rs33,500 for buying and Rs33,600 for selling of 100 pieces.

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Fraudulent emails peddling HCL jobs resurface

The scam messages are mainly targeted at youngsters with less that a year of work experience and students who have just completed their courses

White-collar crime over the Internet is increasingly growing bigger in scale, almost on a daily basis. Given the huge margins involved in these frauds, the Internet is turning many tech-savvy youngsters into white-collar criminals. The latest fraud to make the rounds is an email that offers candidates an opportunity to work with technology company HCL Technologies Ltd with a salary ranging from Rs26,000 to Rs92,000 per month, excluding house rent allowance (HRA), dearness allowance (DA), conveyance and other benefits.

This is not the first time that HCL is facing such a fraud. About three years ago, the company found out that an email was being sent in its name offering jobs to recipients. This time also the company replied to Moneylife saying that "HCL Technologies strongly condemns this email and has nothing to do with it."

However, despite providing all the details of the sender of such fake emails, including the bank account number and name, there is no word about any action initiated by the company. Axis Bank spokesperson said,"The Bank is in the process of carrying out a full examination into the matter. A preliminary check reveals that there is an account in the name of the individual in question with our Mayur Vihar branch in New Delhi. The Bank has taken necessary precautionary measures and further action will depend upon the outcome of our investigation."

The latest mail has been sent using [email protected]' as the sender with a subject line, 'Your Resume has been selected'. This mail is targeted at youngsters with less than a year’s experience or fresh graduates, since they are mostly not aware about the working of companies. In addition, many of them are not well-versed with the use of language in official communications and can easily fall prey to such fake mails.

The mail, a copy of which is with Moneylife, fails to impress on three accounts. One, the email IDs used to send these messages and those given for replying, are not from HCL. Instead, the fraudsters have used email IDs from free email service provider websites, like itimes.com and techie.com. Second, no company asks candidates to pay money upfront for any job and that too in an individual's name and account. Third, the language used in the mail is full of errors.

For e.g., the mail reads: "You are selected according to your resume in which Project you have worked on according to that you have been selected in Company. Your offer latter (sic) will dispatch very shortly after receiving your confirmation of cash deposited in AXIS BANK. We wish you the best of luck for the subsequent and remaining stage.” You would notice the pathetic grammar used throughout the message.

In case you have received such mails, delete them immediately. HCL has created a webpage (http://www.hcltech.com/careers/fraudulent-recruiters/) that gives information about the job fraud mails.{break}

According to media reports, in February this year, the Chennai police arrested two engineering graduates for creating a fake website of an information technology company and cheating aspiring job-seekers after sending them employment offers. The police also arrested a security guard of the Chennai-based company for providing the database of job applicants to the accused graduates.

These two engineers procured details of job applicants from the security guard and then created a fake website of the company. Using prepaid SIM cards, the duo asked a few candidates to appear for an interview. They even conducted interviews over the phone. After a few days, they sent emails to the 'interviewed' candidates saying that they have been selected and had to deposit Rs30,000 in the company's bank account.

What is interesting is that the duo used an account of a person from Assam, whose debit card they had stolen. They used ATMs, mostly those where there are no security cameras, to withdraw money. Not only this, even while calling the applicants, they used a special voice converting software that changes a male's voice to that of a woman.

Although the arrest of a couple of fraudsters is not going to change the scene, such activities involve huge returns. Why are email frauds on the rise? It is simple arithmetic. The cost of sending a spam mail to around 50 million email IDs is often less than $500. So, even if a single user bites the bait and loses $501, the phisher breaks even.

Carl Leonard, senior manager, Websense Security Labs, had said, “A new wave of scams has emerged using a combination of legitimately bought advertising space, false news stories and the lure of job opportunities with well-known companies. This aggressive campaign, which preys on a population weakened by the economic downturn, demonstrates how cybercrime has moved on from the spotty teenage hacker in his bedroom to a sophisticated business run with all the trimmings.”

(Read 'How can you protect yourself from e-mail frauds' here http://www.moneylife.in/article/76/3812.html).

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Auction for 3G spectrum begins

The government is hoping to garner around Rs30,000-Rs35,000 crore by selling 3G airwaves and broadband wireless access spectrum

The 3G spectrum auction was off to a smooth start today with top telecom operators in the fray to acquire radio waves that could fetch the government up to Rs35,000 crore.

When contacted, a senior Department of Telecom (DoT) official confirmed the beginning of the auction across 22 circles simultaneously.

Asked whether the Government would reach its target of Rs35,000 crore from the sale of spectrum, the official said it is difficult to guess any amount at this moment as it would depend on how aggressive the operators are in bidding.

There are nine mobile operators, including the big six, who would bid for the three-four slots on offer.

The final bidders include Bharti Airtel, Reliance Telecom, Idea Cellular, Vodafone Essar, TTSL and Aircel for pan-India spectrum.

The government is hoping to garner around Rs30,000-Rs35,000 crore by selling 3G airwaves and broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum through auction that started today and is expected to last up to three weeks. There is, however, no time limit or deadline for the closing of the auction.

The e-auction started at 9 am and will remain open till 7.30 pm everyday till the process is complete.

The government has set base prices for all the 22 zones at Rs3,500 crore and Rs1,750 crore for BWA.

According to Sanjay Bhandarkar, NM Rothschild (India) head, the bidding process would stop only when the highest bids have been detected for all the circles simultaneously.

The auction for the BWA spectrum would be conducted two days after close of the 3G auction. The winners will be awarded spectrum in September, which means commercial operations of 3G services should be possible only by the end of 2010 or early 2011.

With 3G services, subscribers will be able to download hi-speed data and video streaming.

DoT has said that 3G auction is designed to prevent predatory bids. According to the auction rules, bidders cannot name their price and they can only accept or reject the price posted in each round.

There will be multiple, round-the-clock auctions simultaneously for 22 circles.

The bidders will have no control on increasing the base price, which can increase from 10% to 1% after each round. If there is one bidder more than the number of spectrum slots, the increase would be 5% and if there are two bidders more, then the base would be raised by 10%.

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