We are constantly reminded that there are tons of internet scam artists out there, just waiting for us to make a mistake. These errors could result in stolen money, identify theft and more. As it turns out, two of the biggest technology businesses in the world, Google and Facebook, are not immune to such tactics. A new report claims both have admitted to becoming victims of fraud, allegedly masterminded by someone who took a total of over $100 million from those companies.
According to Fortune, the US Justice Department arrested Evaldas Rimasauskas of Lithuania in March. The agency claims Rimasauskas launched a fraud scheme in 2013 that centered on impersonating a major Asian-based hardware maker, Quanta Computer. Allegedly, Rimasauskas created fake emails, invoices and corporate stamps, and sent them to two unnamed US tech companies. The idea was that they would send him money, believing they were paying the real hardware supplier.
The Justice Department claims that this scheme resulted in over $100 million being sent to Rimasauskas. The money was allegedly sent to a number of different bank accounts in Eastern Europe. Rimasauskas is currently still in Lithuania while extradition proceedings to send him to the US for trial continue. His lawyers have denied the allegations against him.
While the Justice Department has not officially revealed which two US tech companies were defrauded in this scheme, Fortune discovered on its own that Google and Facebook were involved. Both have since admitted to their part in the case, via official statements, and both have also said they have since recovered the funds that were sent to the scam artist.
The fact that these two companies could be defrauded in this way is very ironic, considering that both Facebook and Google have recently been making public statements about how they were trying to remove fake news and scams from their online services. Maybe they should consider using these methods on their own business practices.