A Lithuanian man, Evaldas Rimasauskas, has been indicted for scamming about $100 million from the biggest tech companies of the world – Google and Facebook. According to the case filed against Rimasaukas, from 2013-2015 he carried out a fraudulent business email scheme to deceive Facebook and Google into wiring millions of dollars to a fake company incorporated by him.
“Sending Google and Facebook invoices of items they hadn’t ordered, neither were delivered, while posing as a fake company and receiving the payments through offshore accounts set up worldwide.”
Rimasauskas’s MO was quite simple yet effective. He doctored legal documents such as invoices and contracts that appeared to be authentic enough to the giants. As per the allegations, he would then quickly transfer these funds to his accounts in Latvia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Lithuania, Hungary, and Hong Kong among other places.
How much was scammed exactly?
According to details, Rimasauskas had Google pay him $23 million, while Facebook paid $98 million – a staggering amount that makes it one of the biggest frauds in recent history! He is now ordered to return about $50 million of the money stolen by him.
Why did it go through successfully?
The primary reason why Rimasauskas was able to pull this off successfully can only be attributed to the incompetence of the supply chain/procurement departments of the tech giants. Apparently, no one had bothered to verify or check whether the invoices actually corresponded to items that had been ordered by the company.
This serves as an eye-opening incident, making one wonder that if these corporations which employ advanced systems are not immune to fraud, how safe could an individual be?
Rimasauskas will be sentenced on July 29, 2019, and faces up to 30 years in prison.
A lesson to be learned:
If anything, this serves a lesson as to how easy it is to conduct phishing schemes and fraud people, even if the aggrieved party happens to be a multibillion-dollar giant. The average users would be mistaken to think that they are safe from hacking and fraud attempts online.
Using paid VPN and Anti-Virus services for online security is a must these days. The risk does not truly go away since even large scale corporations are not safe from financial fraud, which is why you can never be too careful online.
Opting out of cybersecurity measures as an active internet user can be seen in the same light as, not wearing a helmet while riding a bike believing that, you will be safe and not run into an accident.