Global Headlines
Indian national,24, jailed for four years and three months in prison for defrauding American woman in hacking scheme

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 20 Feb 2024, 10:01 pm Print

Indian national,24, jailed for four years and three months in prison for defrauding American woman in hacking scheme Hacking

Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

A US court has sentenced a 24-year-old Indian to four years and three months in prison for his role in stealing $150,000 from an American woman through an international computer-hacking scheme.

The scheme targeted elderly Americans nationwide and resulted in more than $1.2 million in total losses, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

The defendant, who was identified as Sukhdev Vaid, 24, of Haryana, India, pleaded guilty in December 2023 to wire fraud.

U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy presided over the proceedings.

The court further ordered that upon release from custody, Vaid will be remanded to the Bureau of Customs and Immigration Enforcement for deportation and ordered Vaid to pay $1,236,470 restitution.

“It has become all too common for people outside of our country to victimize Montanans, especially as it relates to wire fraud, and get away with it. But not this time. Vaid is going to federal prison due to the sophistication and tenacity of the FBI, for which I am grateful. We will continue to be relentless in tracking down these criminals who prey on our trusting impulses, and we are confident such efforts will result in these fraudsters ending up in the same place as Vaid,” U.S. Attorney Laslovich said.

“’Phantom Hacker’ scams layer imposter tech support, financial, and government personas to gain access to someone’s computer and personal information. Sadly, these scams are increasingly targeting our seniors. Adding to the depravity of this particular case is that the scammer traveled overseas to collect victim’s money in person,” said Special Agent in Charge Shohini Sinha of the Salt Lake City FBI. “To protect yourself, never click on unsolicited pop-ups, links sent by text message or email, don’t download software at the request of someone you don’t know, and always remember that the government and law enforcement will never call and ask you for money.”

“In an era where innocent folks increasingly fall victim to these types of crimes, I am pleased that our office played an active role in the capture, prosecution, and ultimate conviction of these individuals,” Flathead County Sheriff Brian Heino said. “While we know that the convictions of Mr. Vaid and Mr. Joseph cannot fully replace the emotional and financial loss experienced by the victims, they do ensure that these individuals will not have the ability to prey upon our citizens during their time of incarceration. It is a reminder to all citizens that these scams occur frequently and can be devastating. I urge everyone to exercise caution; do not allow strangers access to your computer, bank accounts, or personal information,” Heino said.