Scamsters offer Honda CR-V—an SUV—plus Rs6 lakh in emails sent from a Gmail ID, forcing the company to issue a clarification
Honda Siel Cars India has said that it has come to the company's notice that some fraudulent emails are being circulated, offering the Honda CR-V variant and Rs6 lakh. The company has clarified that Honda Siel Cars is not running any promotion scheme on chromium-vanadium alloy tool steels or on the CR-V sports utility vehicle (SUV) and it has warned people against sharing any personal data in response to such mails.
The scamsters have used Honda Siel Cars India as the name of the sender of the email which has been sent from the address firstname.lastname@example.org as email ID. It says, "This Email is to inform you that you have Emerge the Beneficiary of a Brand New HONDA CR-V CAR and a Cash Amount Of Six Indian Lahks (600.000.00 INR) Reply with your ID:HON3134UVM, Full name, Mobile Number and Country Claim."
Honda Siel Cars is a joint venture between Japan's Honda Motor Co Ltd and Siel Ltd, a Siddharth Shriram Group company. The company makes and sells cars under the Honda brand name in India.
The email originates from an IP address that is labelled as private in Whois database. However, it is routed through the IP address of US-based Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Regular readers of Moneylife will recognise such messages as spam or phishing mails. For others who might have received such messages and did not know what to do, here are some guidelines.
The first thought that should come to mind is, why would Honda send an email from an ID other than their own? In this case the scamsters have chosen to use a Gmail ID. Then, we qualify the the money with rupees, or Rs, or use the new symbol before the amount, whereas the email reads "Six Indian Lahks (not even lakh/lakhs), or 600.000.00 INR. Whether this figure is 6 lakh or 600 or 6 crore, there is no way of knowing since the scamsters have put full stops anywhere and everywhere-but it appears to be the American style of million and billions.
This is yet another fraud unsuspecting people ought to guard against. In case one receives such and email, delete it immediately. You could also check the company website for further information-in this case it is HondacarIndia.com.
One last thing: Since the scamsters have used a Gmail ID, and if you have received the message on your Gmail ID, you could open the mail, click on the reverse triangle sign next to reply. Here click on 'Report phishing', so it is marked as a phishing attack and can be blocked permanently.
Although the CBT, which is headed by labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge, had decided to give a higher return of 9.5% on provident fund deposits for 2010-11, the finance ministry had expressed its opposition to the move
New Delhi: The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on Tuesday stuck to its decision that about 4.71 crore subscribers of the pension fund should get 1% increase in interest on their deposits for 2010-11, pegging the rate of interest at 9.5%, reports PTI.
The Central Board of Trustees (CBT) of the EPFO also decided not to invest in stock markets.
After a two-hour meeting of the CBT, labour and employment minister Mallikarjun Kharge expressed hope the finance ministry will shortly give its concurrence to the proposal.
"I hope that after we answered all clarifications, they (finance ministry) will approve it (9.5% interest rate for 2010-11)," he told reporters on the finance ministry's reservation on 9.5% recommended by the Central Board of Trustees of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in September last.
"As far as 9.5% interest (2010-11) is concerned, the finance ministry had sought some clarifications. Those clarifications have been sent by the labour secretary to the finance ministry," Mr Kharge added.
Downplaying the ongoing tussle between the two ministries over hiking the interest rates on PF deposits, Mr Kharge said there was "no tussle between the two ministries over giving 9.5% interest rate."
"These are just consultations between the two ministries. They had certain queries and when we satisfy them. They will definitely approve it," labour secretary PC Chaturvedi later explained.
Although the CBT, which is headed by the labour minister, had decided to give a higher return of 9.5% on provident fund deposits for 2010-11, the finance ministry had expressed its opposition to the move.
Following discovery of Rs1,731.57 crore in suspense account, the EPFO trustees favoured raising the rate of interest on provident fund deposits to 9.5% for its 4.71 crore subscribers from 8.5% which is being paid by EPFO since 2005-06.
The decision, however, did not find favour with the finance ministry which argued that there was no real surplus.
It said the surplus shown by the EPFO arose because all subscribers' accounts were not updated.
In a recent letter of 29th January, the labour ministry argued the EPFO is not asking for any government support for the extra returns to the salaried workers. It is their money which has earned returns.
The finance ministry's objections were based on a report by Comptroller and Auditor General which suggested that there was no surplus with the EPFO's interest suspense account.
The finance ministry has to give concurrence to the rate of return decided by CBT and notify allowing tax exemption on the entire such earnings on PF deposits.
Meanwhile, the retirement fund manager, which has a corpus of Rs5 lakh crore, said it will not invest in the stock market in absence of any guarantee on returns and safety of the money by the finance ministry.
"We don't want to invest in equities. No further decision has been taken on this and same status (of not investing PF money in stock market) would prevail," Mr Kharge said.
During the meeting, the EPFO also approved a proposal to resume investment in the scam-hit LIC Housing Finance, a subsidiary of the country's largest insurance company Life Insurance Corporation.
The CBT had suspended investment in housing finance company following disclosure of the bribe-for-loans scam in November 2010 in which top officials of the LIC Housing Finance were allegedly involved.
AP Singh tells Public Accounts Committee that the investigative agency initially opposed Supreme Court monitoring the 2G case on legal grounds, but agreed to supervision after realising gravity of the matter
New Delhi: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director AP Singh is said to have contradicted telecom minister Kapil Sibal on his claim that there was "zero loss" to the national exchequer from the 2G spectrum allocation. Mr Singh was deposing before Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the issue which is also being investigated by the CBI.
"As far as he (Mr Singh) has seen the case, to say 'zero loss' is wrong," PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi told a news conference on Tuesday evening after the meeting, reports PTI.
According to a member of the PAC, the CBI chief said that it would be "wrong to say that there was zero sum loss in the allocation of 2G spectrum on first-come-first-serve basis."
The reported remark by the CBI chief contradicts Mr Sibal, who had said a couple of weeks ago that the 2G spectrum allocation had caused "zero loss" to the exchequer and even rubbished as "utterly erroneous" the CAG's calculation that the presumptive loss was to the tune of Rs1.76 lakh crore.
The CBI has, in its FIR on the 2G case, estimated that the losses could go up to Rs22,000 crore.
The CBI director was also asked about the methodology the agency had used to estimate the loss caused by alleged irregularities in spectrum allocation. He admitted that he was not able to accurately quantify the loss to the exchequer as his focus was on unravelling the criminal aspect of the irregularities. He also told the PAC that he would get back to it on the matter.
To questions on whether the former telecom minister Arun Shourie would be called by the PAC, Mr Joshi said that the CBI has already asked Mr Shourie to appear before it on 21st February.
According to sources, the CBI director was also asked why the agency had initially taken a position against the Supreme Court monitoring the 2G case. Mr Singh is said to have told the PAC that the initial position was based on certain legal grounds, but that when the agency realised the gravity of the situation it agreed to the supervision by the Court.
Most of the questions from the PAC members were taken by CBI deputy inspector general SK Palsania as Mr Singh took over as CBI director only on 30th November last year.
On the matter of Mr Sibal's remarks on the CAG report, Mr Joshi said this was an an insult to the parliamentary system. He said that he had written to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar about Mr Sibal's comments on the CAG.
Mr Joshi said that he had received a reply from the Speaker and that the members of the PAC were of the opinion that the issue should be discussed further with the Speaker. "I will be meeting the Speaker to discuss the matter," he said.
To a question about prime minister Manmohan Singh's offer to appear before the PAC, Mr Joshi said his letter is with the PAC. "If a decision is taken, you will come to know," Mr Joshi said. He also said that the prime minister's office had provided a lot of information to the PAC and more information is being sought from it.
On the possibility of summoning Mr Sibal, he said that a decision would be taken by the PAC members.
Asked whether the PAC would lose relevance if the government decided to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee to look into the issue, Mr Joshi said, "PAC is a constitutional body and it will continue with its work." He said that the PAC would not be affected by any such decision. "If the Supreme Court is doing its work, if the CBI and PAC are doing their work, the JPC will also do its work," Mr Joshi said.