Shared transportation suffers from scammers
Shared transportation suffers from scammers

The Ministry of Justice has prosecuted 14 Brazilian nationals for allegedly opening fraudulent driver accounts with several transport and delivery companies across the country.

Prosecutors said the fraudulent gang used stolen personal information to create fake accounts, then sold those accounts to drivers who might not be allowed to drive pickup or delivery services, collecting referral rewards and causing app fraud.

The indictment was issued on Friday and added to allegations of wire fraud that were first revealed in May.

The law charged 14 people from five LLCs with identity theft. Prosecutors charged 19 people with electronic fraud and arrested 16 people.

The wire transfer fraud charges carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years and a fine of $250,000 or twice the total profit or loss of the crime, whichever is greater. Although aggravated charges of identity theft can be punished by imprisonment for a minimum of two years.

The court document describes a complex fraud system that includes bots, GPS identity, Social Security numbers obtained through dark web sites, and driver's licenses copied by app users. This relates to using referral bonus programs for ride and delivery sharing companies and increasing the company's sales.

The scammer won $195,000 thanks to the car sharing app

Although the name of these apps is not mentioned, the complaint details are the same as those from companies like Instacart and Amazon Flex.

From January 2019 to April 2021, gang members falsely claimed that their customers were required to clear their driver's license in order to deliver alcohol.

The public prosecutor said the defendant modified the photos on the license and linked them to other personal information. I have opened accounts that can be sold or rented to drivers.

The fake account also helped the organization collect up to $1000 in referral rewards. A letter revealed that the courier company paid $194,800 after receiving referrals on 487 fake accounts.

When the group bought software that could be rented to drivers, the plot spread. This helps them automatically block requests from bots or fraudulent websites, which increases the appearance of theft.

According to an affidavit, the organization exposed its fake accounts to Brazilian citizens working in Massachusetts. It is not known who bought these accounts. However, many of the couriers and workers are undocumented immigrants and may not be able to meet the application requirements.

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