Computer Techs Turn Normal Virus Removal Into Multi-Million Dollar Scam
from the opus-dei-has-infected-your-computer dept
Lots of people suspect that the various companies out there who promise to clean viruses off your computer are a bit of a scam -- and, apparently, in at least one case, it turned out to be a huge scam. Apparently a guy working for one of those companies, Vickram Bedi, realized that Roger Davidson, who brought in his laptop to have it cleaned of a virus, was a wealthy composer (and heir to a fortune). So, rather than clean up the virus, Bedi and his girlfriend, Helga Invarsdottir, worked out a scam that bilked Davidson of somewhere between $6 and $20 million.
When asked to remove the virus from the laptop, Mr. Bedi allegedly told Mr. Davidson that his computer had in fact been attacked with a virus so virulent that it also damaged Datalink's computers, according to prosecutors.According to the article, this scam only came to light after law enforcement was investigating Bedi and Invarsdottir for another scam, suggesting that this may have been an even bigger scam, with more targets.
Mr. Bedi told Mr. Davidson that he had tracked the source of the virus to a remote village in Honduras and that Mr. Bedi's uncle, purportedly an officer in the Indian military, had traveled there in a military aircraft and retrieved the suspicious hard drive, prosecutors said.
In addition, Mr. Bedi told the victim that his uncle had uncovered an assassination plot against Mr. Davidson by Polish priests tied to Opus Dei, according to prosecutors....
In addition to the thousands of dollars charged to secure Mr. Davidson's computer, Mr. Bedi and Ms. Invarsdottir allegedly charged thousands more to provide 24-hour covert protection for Mr. Davidson and his family.
Harrison Police Chief Anthony Marraccini said the couple charged Mr. Davidson about $160,000 every month for bogus security and other services. At the time of their arrest, Ms. Invarsdottir had $1.6 million in a bank account and Mr. Bedi had $6 million in a separate account, Mr. Marraccini said. Those accounts have been frozen and computers and business documents were seized by police, Mr. Marraccini said.