Google and Facebook are latest in the list of companies which got trapped into $100 million (£77.3million) phishing scam. The scam involved sending emails to the employees at the companies and asking them to wired transfer of money.
The scams were carried out by a 48-year-old man Evaldas Rimasauskas over a span of two years. He used the technique of email phishing and tricked employees. Rimasauskas impersonated a large Asia-based manufacturer a taiwanese electronics manufacturer to dupe the companies into paying for computer supplies.
He was arrested this month in Lithuania at the request of US authorities and is currently in jail on wire fraud, money laundering and identify theft charges.
Rimasauskas carried out the fraud by sending emails to the employees of the Google and facebook employees asking them to transfer money. He set up multiple accounts in Latvia and Cyprus under the name of ‘computer hardware manufacturer. Rimasauskas managed to keep the scam under wraps using forged corporate stamps, letters, and invoices. He managed to have forged invoices, contracts and letters purportedly signed by executives of the two victim companies, according to prosecutors.
The investigation done till now have revealed by the Fortune published on Thursday have revealed that both this companies have paid around $100 million and Rimasauskas have managed to stash away the money across Eastern Europe. Rimasauskas has denied the allegations and his lawyer said that he cannot expect a fair and impartial trial in the USA. He is currently facing extradition proceedings in Lithuania.
The investigation has been carried out from last one year; however Rimasauskas was arrested by the Justice Department only last month. The maximum sentence for each of these charges is 80 years in prison.
The incident is a reminder of how even the biggest of names of the industry are vulnerable to scams and hacking if proper checks and measures are not put into place. While hacking can be averted by using stronger codes in order, email-based phishing scams are harder to detect because the fake emails appear to come from sources which the victims know of or trust.
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