Wednesday January 29, 2020
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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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New “Off-Facebook Activity” Tool On Facebook To Let Users Protect Browsing History

The social networking giant also introduced alerts for third-party logins

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Facebook
Over the next few weeks, Facebook will show nearly two billion people a prompt, encouraging them to review their privacy settings. Pixabay

To give over two billion users more control over their privacy, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced several new features, including an ‘Off-Facebook Activity’ tool that will let users disconnect their identities from browsing history so Facebook won’t be able to see which websites they visit.

The ‘Off-Facebook Activity’ tool is now available to people on Facebook around the world.

“Other businesses send us information about your activity on their sites and we use that information to show you ads that are relevant to you. Now you can see a summary of that information and clear it from your account if you want to,” Zuckerberg said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Off-Facebook Activity marks a new level of transparency and control,” he added.

Over the next few weeks, Facebook will show nearly two billion people a prompt, encouraging them to review their privacy settings.

“The prompt will show up in your News Feed and direct you to the Privacy Checkup tool, which we recently updated,” said Zuckerberg.

“This makes it even easier to adjust who can see your posts and profile information, strengthen your account security by turning on login alerts, and review the information you share with apps you’ve logged in with Facebook.”

Facebook
To give over two billion users more control over their privacy, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has announced several new features, including an ‘Off-Facebook Activity’ tool that will let users disconnect their identities from browsing history so Facebook won’t be able to see which websites they visit. Pixabay

The social networking giant also introduced alerts for third-party logins.

Facebook Login lets users sign in to other apps and services, like games and streaming platforms, using the Facebook account.

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“To help you keep track of your activity, we rolled out Login Notifications earlier this month. These notifications alert you when you use Facebook Login to sign in to third-party apps to help you stay aware of how your account is being used and edit your settings,” said Zuckerberg, adding that one of his main goals is to build much stronger privacy protections for everyone on Facebook. (IANS)