Wednesday July 17, 2019
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Man Pleads Guilty to Scamming Google, Facebook

Rimasauskas is likely to be sentenced on July 24

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Google, smart compose
The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

A 50-year-old man from Lithuania has pleaded guilty to scamming Google and Facebook into paying over $120 million for work that never took place.

According to a report in The New York Times on Monday, Evaldas Rimasauskas was involved in running a company that controlled several accounts at banks in Latvia and Cyprus.

Posing as Quanta Computer, a Taiwan-based laptop manufacturer, the phishing scheme netted $23 million from Google in 2013 and $98 million from Facebook in 2015.

“As Evaldas Rimasauskas admitted today, he devised a blatant scheme to fleece US companies out of $100 million, and then siphoned those funds to bank accounts around the globe,” Geoffrey S Berman, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.

“Rimasauskas thought he could hide behind a computer screen halfway across the world while he conducted his fraudulent scheme, but as he has learned, the arms of American justice are long, and he now faces significant time in a U.S. prison,” Berman was quoted as saying.

Rimasauskas, who was extradited from Lithuania to the US in 2017, faces up to 30 years in prison.

Facebook, photos
This photograph taken on May 16, 2018, shows a figurine standing in front of the logo of social network Facebook on a cracked screen of a smartphone in Paris. VOA

Rimasauskas sent fraudulent phishing emails to agents from Google and Facebook regularly involved in directing business with Quanta.

After the money was wired from Google and Facebook to the bank accounts in Cyprus and Latvia, Rimasauskas “caused the stolen funds to be quickly wired into different bank accounts in various locations throughout the world, including Latvia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Lithuania, Hungary and Hong Kong.”

Facebook said in a statement that the company had “recovered the bulk of the funds shortly after the incident and has been cooperating with law enforcement in its investigation.

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Google said in a statement to CNET that it had “detected this fraud and promptly alerted the authorities. We recouped the funds and we’re pleased this matter is resolved”.

Rimasauskas is likely to be sentenced on July 24. (IANS)

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India: CSC Partners with Facebook to Provide Digital Skill Training to Women Village Level Entrepreneurs

India has made dramatic strides in expanding access to affordable mobile broadband in the last few years

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Facebook, Digital Skills, Women
In the first year of this project, Facebook, in collaboration with CSC Academy, plans to provide tools and digital skills training to more than 250,000 people across over 3,000 villages in 10 states in India. Pixabay

Common Services Centre (CSC), which serves as access point for the delivery of various electronic services to villages in India, on Tuesday announced a partnership with social media giant Facebook to provide digital skill training to women village level entrepreneurs.

In the first year of this project, Facebook, in collaboration with CSC Academy, plans to provide tools and digital skills training to more than 250,000 people across over 3,000 villages in 10 states in India.

“India has made dramatic strides in expanding access to affordable mobile broadband in the last few years. We are excited to partner with CSC Academy to create a programme that will build on this success as well as the outstanding community networks that CSC has built over the years,” Ajit Mohan, Managing Director, Facebook India, said while speaking at the CSC Diwas celebration here.

As part of the project CSC will identify and nominate 5,000 women village level entrepreneurs across 10 states – Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Telangana, Bihar, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Facebook, Digital Skills, Women
Common Services Centre (CSC), which serves as access point for the delivery of various electronic services to villages in India. Pixabay

These women entrepreneurs will be given training sessions on leveraging various Facebook tools to not just build and grow their business but also on how to train people on the ground.

These entrepreneurs will further help build awareness to ensure that the community is able to learn from each other.

CSC along with Facebook will co-create a curriculum (online and offline) around digital marketing skills and online safety in over 14 regional languages.

“CSC has unleashed entrepreneurs across villages in India, many of them women. With the #DigitalBeti programme, our objective is to arm these village level entrepreneurs with similar digital tool kits that large corporations have access to, and unleash their full potential and their ability to create economic opportunities for themselves and their communities,” Mohan said.

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From just 13,000 women village level entrepreneurs in 2014, today more than 73,000 women entrepreneurs are working across 3.66 lakh CSC centres, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said. (IANS)