01 Jan 2009

Best Crimes of 2008

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Chosen by Wired.

Example:

How do you run a profitable interstate trucking company without all the hassle of driving trucks? Step one: Visit the online “load boards” where brokers advertise cargo in need of transport and negotiate a deal to, for example, haul a load from California to Maryland for $3,500. Step two: hack into the Department of Transportation website that maintains the master list of licensed trucking companies, and change the contact information for a legitimate firm to an address and phone number you control.

Step three: Profit! Posing as the company whose identity you just stole, outsource your job to another trucking firm for whatever price it wants; when the load is delivered, collect your $3,500, leaving the company that actually drove the truck trying in vain to invoice the company you hijacked. Step four: Get a lawyer. In October, federal prosecutors charged Russian immigrants Nicholas Lakes and Viachelav Berkovich with computer fraud for allegedly pulling this scam over-and-over again, to the tune of $500,000.

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