Man Allegedly Dupes Companies Into Wiring Him $100 Million


By Eric Lieberman

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the arrest of a Lithuanian man Tuesday, after he allegedly tricked two internet companies into wiring more than $100 million to various bank accounts.

Evaldas Rimasauskas is accused of obtaining the money through phishing emails, which were sent to employees and agents of what the DOJ refers to as “Victim Companies.”

Phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive data (like credit card numbers, usernames, passwords, social security numbers) for nefarious reasons by tricking unsuspecting users into clicking on infected links. (RELATED: Hackers Are Gunning For Your Personal Data By Tricking You)

Rimasauskas registered and incorporated a company in Lativa using the same name as an Asian-based computer hardware manufacturer. He opened and managed multiple accounts at banks located in Cyprus and Latvia under the name of the company established in Latvia.

Rimasauskas tricked the “Victim Companies” by pretending to be the hardware corporation, specifically, sending emails with fraudulent wiring instructions.

Before the misappropriated funds were officially detected, Rimasauskas would transfer the funds into different bank accounts from countries around the world, including Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hong Kong, Slovakia, and Hungary. (RELATED: Dark Web Mastermind Would Have Eluded Cops If Not For His Interest In Rubber Gloves)

“This case should serve as a wake-up call to all companies – even the most sophisticated – that they too can be victims of phishing attacks by cyber criminals,” said Joon H. Kim, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, in an official press release. “And this arrest should serve as a warning to all cyber criminals that we will work to track them down, wherever they are, to hold them accountable.”

Rimasauskas is charged with one count of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering, which each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. He is also being charged with aggravated identity theft, which requires a minimum sentence of two years in prison.

Feigning authority, and subsequent identity theft, happen quite often. (RELATED: Fraudsters Create Clever Fake Apps To Steal Christmas Money)

Cybercriminals were reportedly using Twitter to dupe unwitting social media users  looking for financial assistance into giving up their personal information.

Ransomware, a type of infected software designed to take over a computer system and then block access for the authorized user, is now so widespread it cost businesses a total of $1 billion in 2016, according to a new report. Phishing accounted for around 90 percent of the ransomware attacks, which increased by 600 percent compared to the previous year.

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