S’porean Cheats Amazon & Google S$7.6M Worth Of Cloud Services, Jailed 10 Years

Singaporean Man Cheats Amazon & Google By Impersonating 2 People

When it comes to scams, swindlers often target the vulnerable. However, it seems even big corporations can be vulnerable to these threats too.

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On Thursday (23 Jun), Singaporean man Ho Jun Jia, 32 was sentenced to 10 years’ jail for cheating Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google of S$7.6 million in cloud computing services.

He apparently did so by impersonating two people whose personal information he obtained illegally on the Dark Web.

Man cheats Amazon and Google by impersonating co-founder of Riot Games

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), Ho collected the personal and credit card information of 70 people from a Dark Web forum. One of the victims was Riot Games co-founder Marc Merrill.

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Source: Riot Games

After gaining access to his American Express bank account and linking it to an email address he created, Ho registered a new AWS account under Mr Merrill’s credit card.

By impersonating him, AWS was deceived into delivering cloud computing services to him on more than 40 occasions between 4 Nov 2017 and 28 Jan 2018.

Similarly, he created a Google Cloud Platform account in Mr Merrill’s name and deceived Google into providing him with cloud computing services.

Eventually, both companies suspended the accounts when payments did not went through.

Using the same modus operandi, he cheated AWS S$29 (US$21) worth of cloud computing services after obtaining another man’s details.

In Oct 2019, Ho was charged with identity theft and wire fraud in the US.

Sentenced to 10 years’ jail for cheating Amazon and Google

The Straits Times (ST) reported that Ho was sentenced to 10 years’ jail on Thursday (23 Jun).

He pleaded guilty to 12 charges including cheating, unauthorised access to computer material, and drug consumption.

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District Judge Brenda Tan said,

Given the magnitude of his offending, the extent of harm caused and the sophistication employed, deterrence is the dominant sentencing consideration

Furthermore, she noted that Ho did not make restitution for the S$7.6 million he cheated from his victims.

Currently, Ho is out on a S$180,000 bail, which his father paid for. The District Judge had allowed him to defer his sentence by one month to settle his personal affairs.

He suffered the consequences of his own actions

The method Ho used to cheat huge companies like Amazon and Google was definitely sophisticated and complex.

Unfortunately, his methods were used for underhanded means and he eventually paid the price for it.

Hopefully, this case serves as a reminder that justice has long arms and dishonesty will always be punished.

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