The Lithuanian businessman Evaldas Rimasauskas has been extradited to the United States under charges of tricking Facebook and Google to pay him over $100 million. He was arrested in Lithuania, extradited to the United States and has been denied bail. Rimasauskas owns a small construction company who fooled the two big companies to send him money by pretending he was an Asian hardware manufacturer.
The US prosecutors have not mentioned the specific companies in the prosecution. The companies were later mentioned in a Lithuanian legal document declaring that Facebook was fooled into transferring almost 100 million dollars to bank accounts which Rimasauskas controlled. In 2013-2015 Google sent $23 million in his direction. Both companies have explained that they have got the lost money back after discovering the fraud.
Rimasauskas’s lawyer John H. Kim has stated that he did it solely to make large companies worldwide wake up and acknowledge that anyone can be a victim of cyber crime, committed using phishing.
If he is sentenced, he can look forward to decades in jail even though financial scammers usually get less time. He will, however, get at least two years of bread and water in US prisons if he is convicted of identity theft.
Phishing emails are basically made to fool computer users to give out their banking information. The technique is called “phishing” because cyber criminals fish for information until someone bites the hook. As you can read in the articles on this page there are web developers, billionaires and millions of individuals who have become victims of phishing. There are two popular types of phishing mails.
The one type makes the user follow a link in an email from a sender that seems reliable. It is often a fake email claiming to be from your bank and for example inviting you to access your online account to receive some important credit advice. Victims simply follow a link to log in. When on the fake website which looks like your credit institution’s official website most people will naturally enter their information as usual. However, in these cases, when it is almost the exact copy of your bank’s website, the information will not be sent to the bank, but to cyber criminals intent on identity theft and ultimately stealing all of your money.
In the other types of phishing emails the sender pretends to be someone else and convinces the victim to transfer money to their bank account. The case of Rimasauskas is an example of such a technique. A relatively ordinary man who pretended to be a hardware company and thus deceived some of the world’s largest most advanced companies into sending him over 100 million dollars. These are companies who specifically work on and with the web. If anyone should be prepared against phishing, one would assume it should be Google, Facebook or the like.
Private individuals are often fooled into giving away their personal information through phishing emails. For example, when they receive an email informing them that a distant relative has died and they are entitled to a huge inheritance. There are many people who fall for that kind of fraud. Just like you shouldn’t buy gold jewelry which seems too cheap to be real when you’re on vacation, you should not give away your bank details to strangers. Basically, trades that seem too good to be true are too good to be true. Many tourists have experienced spending money on things that were not what they should have been. Many people have even experienced being robbed of their wallet while talking to the seller. It’s pretty much the same thing that happens when you receive an email promising that you’re entitled to a lot of money for one reason or another and thus fools you to give your bank details to the sender. It’s always a lie. Always.
Do not be afraid of the entire internet because it’s part of our everyday life and we can not ignore that. At Anti Explorator we love the internet which is why we are working to make every online experience as good and safe as possible. For thousands of years we have learned from previous generations and from our own lives how to behave in the physical world. And even here there are countless forms of crime. But we have to remember that the Internet is under 50 years old and that we have not yet learned how to avoid entering a dark alley in the middle of the night. Most of us would not do that in the physical world. Many of us can also recognize a scam when we see one. But on the web you can disguise yourself and disguise programs.
That’s why you need computer security. When your computer is safe and you follow the safety advice you are also more secure when online. You can secure your computer today by downloading the latest version of Anti Explorator.