Surabaya, Indonesia – Two Indonesian hackers have been arrested for an international scam in which $ 60 million was stolen from ahelping Americans left jobless by the pandemic, authorities said.
Text messages were sent to 20 million Americans directing them to more than a dozen fake U.S. government websites, police in the Southeast Asian country said Thursday.
Thousands of victims have provided personal information, including social security numbers, to bogus sites in hopes of getting $ 2,000 donated as part of an unemployment assistance program, authorities said.
But their data has instead been used by crooks to steal millions of dollars from the program.
“Some 30,000 US citizens have been scammed and the government’s financial loss amounts to $ 60 million,” East Java Police Chief Nico Afinta said.
The two suspects were arrested last month in Indonesia’s second-largest city, Surabaya, after police were informed by US authorities.
Indonesian police did not say how long the scam has been going on.
The couple could face up to nine years in prison under Indonesian Electronic Information Law.
Police said they were investigating the possible involvement of a third party who may have obtained funds illegally.