According to recent reports, Google and Facebook became victims of a phishing scheme, in which Evaldas Rimasauskas got more than $100m from them. As you can see, even the tech giants are not immune from the increasingly sophisticated scamming attacks.
Back in March, it became known that two multinational companies were tricked by a Lithuanian man into sending him more than $100m. The 48-year old was charged with wire fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft for impersonating a Taiwanese electronics company Quanta Computer, which works with Google, Facebook and Apple.
Further investigation has revealed that the two firms the scammer sent fraudulent invoices to were Facebook and Google. Both paid out more than $100m. Facebook informed that it recovered major part of the funds and has been cooperating with law enforcement in its investigation since. Google also said that it recouped the funds and consider the matter resolved after detecting the fraud and promptly alerting the authorities.
This incident proves that a problem of phishing and online fraud has become very big: phishing attacks continue to con individuals and businesses worldwide out of significant sums of money. Everybody has heard of Nigerian Prince scams, but they still continue with bogus claims of money. At the same time, techniques used by the thieves have become increasingly sophisticated. For example, the UK National Audit Office warned late last year that the United Kingdom was poorly prepared for online fraud. The statistics showed that it cost UK consumers at least $19bn in 2016, of which $5.5bn is thought to be hidden and unreported losses from crime including mass marketing fraud and counterfeit goods.
KPMG accountants recorded the value of fraud committed in the United Kingdom in 2016 and reported to the court system to have exceeded $1.5bn, which is a 55% rise against the year before – a dramatic rise in cybercrime. Scammers use all possible ways to trick people – from costly conveyancing scams to fake IT support. You should remember that it is more important than ever to double-check anything asking for personal details or money. However, when such giants as Facebook and Google, who themselves create technology that is meant to help protect against online scammers, are conned, what can an average user do?