Giant conglomerates are tough to crackdown. These massive businesses regularly invest billions of dollars to protect their platforms — be it in the digital way, the financial way, or even the “reputation” way. After all, the name that they have made for themselves took decades to establish, and any attack on the aforementioned factors that ultimately mean social suicide. However, what happens when a colossal fraud is committed against not one, but two, giants in the tech world?
A Lithuanian man called Evaldas Rimasauskas has been revealed to have stolen a whopping collective of $122 million from Facebook and Google. When did the theft happen? In 2013 and 2015. When was it discovered? In 2017. Using an endless chain of fake emails, signed contracts, stamps, letters, etc., Evaldas managed to create fake invoices for fake products and services that neither Facebook and Google ever requested or used. The crime was orchestrated through Evaldas impersonating a Taiwanese company, and had added the cherry on top of the cake by having the acquired money dispersed between bank accounts in different cities around the world (Lithuania, Hong Kong, Hungary, Slovakia, Cyprus, and Latvia). What did the giants do, though? They fell for it. Better (or worse) yet, they paid for it via a simple wire transfer transaction.
Evaldas pleaded guilty a couple of weeks ago on the charges of money laundering and identity theft, to which he might be facing a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. Faecbook and Google have also managed to regain approximately all of the money looted from them as the U.S. Court forced the scammer to forfeit the stolen money. However, does this incident indicate that tech giants like Facebook and Google can blindly fall for such a massive scam?
Businesses are prone to having frauds committed against them slide right under their nose. Nonetheless, when multi- billion companies like Facebook or Google fall for a $122 million scam, it might be quite worrying. These companies hold some of the most private of details in the world through the large amount of users that log in to their services every second of everyday. When these companies cannot be trusted with their own money, how can they be trusted with people’s private details? Several incidents in the recent past have shown that privacy and security is a major issue for Google and Facebook, but is it surprising anymore? Is it really shocking to see that these conglomerates are not careful with other people’s information, when they obviously are not all that careful with where their “hard-earned” money goes? It is indeed quite the comical scene.