The FBI is offering a bounty of up to $1 million for information about two Romanian fugitives involved in a massive cyber fraud scheme, the bureau announced in a press release.
Nicolae Popescu and Dumitru Daniel Bosogioiu made it to the FBIâ€™s Most Wanted Cyber Fugitive List after participating in a long-term cyber-fraud conspiracy that inflicted losses of over $3 million on US businesses.
â€œAs alleged, while hiding behind international borders, Popescu and Bosogioiu engaged in a systematic cyber fraud scheme targeting primarily American consumers through U.S.-based websites,â€ the FBI said. â€œWorking in tandem, they jeopardized the personal security of online users who routinely conducted legitimate business on the internet.â€
The pair and their 11 co-conspirators ran fake ads on sites such as eBay, Cars.com, AutoTrader.com and CycleTrader.com, pretending to sell cars from bogus auto dealerships through phony websites. They also sent fake invoices claiming to be from Amazon Payments, PayPal or other online payment services, with instructions on how to transfer money to their bank accounts.
Popescu is accused of leading the conspiracy, including coordination of the issuing of fake passports and collecting the victimsâ€™ money.
The two will be prosecuted in the United States.
â€œAs alleged, Popescu and his close associate Bosogioiu engaged in a pattern of pervasive criminal conduct, victimizing hard-working American consumers looking to purchase cars,â€ the FBI said. â€œThey believed international borders would allow them to act with impunity. They were wrongâ€.