After years of scamming people out of their hard-earned money, the tech scammer who convinced over seven million people to give him their money has finally been caught.
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Seven million. That’s how many people tech scammer James Gilbert fool over the course of seven years. He would call people claiming to be from Microsoft or Apple and say that their computer had a virus. Then, he would offer to fix it for them. But instead of fixing the problem, he would install software that would give him access to the victim’s bank account or social media login.
The scammer’s method
The scammer, who went by the name of “Mike”, would contact people through online classified ads and offer to sell them tech products, including iPhones, at a fraction of the retail price. He then directed his victims to a website that looked almost identical to a legitimate online retailer. The website would ask for the victim’s shipping information and credit card number. Once the victim inputted this information, they would be redirected to a page that said the website was “under construction” and their purchase could not be completed. Mike would then disappear with the victim’s money and personal information.
This scam ran for over two years and affected people in all 50 states in the US, as well as in Canada and Europe. In total, Mike scammed over seven million people out of more than $50 million. He was finally caught after one of his victims contacted the FBI.
The scammer’s victims
The scammer’s victims are people who have found themselves in a difficult financial situation and are looking for a way out. They are often desperate and willing to take any offer that seems legitimate, no matter how risky it may be.
The scammer will promise them a large sum of money if they just send a smaller amount of money to cover the cost of taxes or fees. They may even offer to pay the victim back double or triple what they sent. Of course, the victim never sees any of this money and is left with nothing but a hole in their bank account.
often times, the scammer will pose as a government official or someone from a legitimate organization like the IRS or the FBI. This can make it even harder for the victim to spot the scam, as they may think they are actually dealing with someone who can help them.
The best way to avoid becoming a victim of this scam is to be very careful about any offers that seem too good to be true. If someone you don’t know is promising you a large sum of money, do your research before sending them any money. And never give your personal financial information to someone you don’t know and trust.
After years of being on the run, the tech scammer who fooled over seven million people has finally been caught. His victims lost a total of $1.7 billion, but thankfully, they will all be receiving restitution. This is a huge victory for the justice system, and a lesson to be learned for everyone.
The scammer’s punishment
After being caught and convicted, the scammer was jailed for 12 years and ordered to pay $2.8 million in restitution. He will also be subject to three years of supervised release after he leaves prison.
The victims’ reactions
Though it took some time, the jig was eventually up on Catholic priest-turned-tech guru Paul Ceglia. For years, he managed to convincing people that he was the rightful owner of 84% of Facebook, even scamming over seven million dollars from investors. The fallout was extensive, with many people left feeling betrayed, embarrassed, and foolish.
“I feel like an idiot,” said one victim, who wished to remain anonymous. “I trusted him because he seemed like such a nice guy, and I really believed that he was going to make me rich. But it was all a lie.”
“I invested everything I had,” said another victim. “My life savings, my retirement fund… it’s all gone. I don’t know how I’m going to recover from this.”
For his part, Ceglia has shown no remorse for his actions. “I don’t regret anything,” he said in a recent interview. “I know some people got hurt, but that’s just business.”