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Friday, May 25, 2018
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Police: Russian cyber scammers hit Pinellas firm

A cyber scam of a Pinellas County business spanning from Quebec to Russia and involving thousands of dollars in computer merchandise has been uncovered by Largo police with help from Canadian authorities.

According to Largo police, cyber criminals in Russia launched Trojan malware into the computer systems of companies that allows them to steal electronic commerce credentials, which are used to make fraudulent purchase orders.

The orders were shipped to residences in Canada, then quickly reshipped to Russia or Ukraine.

On Feb. 17, a fraudulent online order for $59,805 worth of computer equipment was placed with Tech Data Canada, a subsidary of Pinellas-based Tech Data Corp., via an established customer’s EC credentials.

Tech Data realized the order was illicit shortly after it was delivered by UPS to an address in Laval, Quebec, police said.

Tech Data contacted Largo police, who coordinated with Canadian authorities to obtain a search warrant to recover over $20,000 worth of computer equipment in Leval, prior to it being shipped overseas.

Two people were arrested in Leval, and authorities are still investigating.

Tech Data, with headquarters in the Highpoint area of Clearwater, is one of the world’s largest distributors of technology products and services, with $25.4 billion in net sales in its last fiscal year, according to the company’s website.

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