From the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Montana:

A federal judge sentenced Sukhdev Vaid, a 24-year-old Indian national, to over four years in prison for his role in an international computer scam. The scheme targeted elderly Americans, including a Kalispell woman, resulting in over $1.2 million in losses. Vaid previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

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What Was The Scam?

The elaborate "phantom hacker" scam used a combination of fake technical support, misleading financial information, and impersonation of government officials to gain remote access to victims' computers and ultimately swindle them out of money.

U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich expressed concern over the rise of these scams targeting Montana residents. FBI Special Agent Shohini Sinha urged individuals to remain vigilant against unsolicited pop-ups, links, and requests to download software.

How Were They Caught?

The scheme unraveled in February 2023 when Glacier Bank alerted the FBI regarding an elderly Kalispell woman who had fallen victim. Through cooperation with the victim, the FBI apprehended Vaid and his co-defendant. Further investigation revealed a wider, India-based operation linked to defrauding other elderly Americans.

The Kalispell victim recalled the emotional and financial impact of the scam, emphasizing her feelings of violation and loss of trust.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon prosecuted the case. The FBI and the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.

What Are Your Thoughts?

What steps do you take to ensure you, your money, and your identity are safe? Have you been scammed by scum in the past? Let us know on App Chat or on Facebook.

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