Indonesian Hackers Arrested for $60m U.S. COVID-19 Scam

Indonesian police announced that they have arrested two local hackers based in Surabaya last month over an international scam where US$60 million was stolen from a COVID-19 aid program helping jobless Americans.

“Some 30,000 US citizens were scammed and the government’s financial loss is up to US$60 million,” said East Java police chief Nico Afinta.

Police said that the hackers sent SMS messages to the victims which redirected them to more than a dozen fake US government websites where their personal info was stolen.

Their info was then used by the hackers to steal millions of dollars from the real unemployment assistance program. 

The police are investigating whether there was a third person who helped the two transfer the stolen money. 

If the hackers are found guilty, they could face up to nine years in prison under Indonesia’s electronic information law.


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