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Two Vietnamese held for appropriating $94,000 from US firm via fake email

Two Vietnamese held for appropriating $94,000 from US firm via fake email

Sunday, September 26, 2021, 17:33 GMT+7

Ho Chi Minh City police officers have arrested two local people who were accused of colluding with their foreign accomplices to create a false email address through which they asked a U.S. company to transfer money to their designated bank account.

The municipal police on Saturday said that they had detained Nguyen Khac Chuong, 43, and Nguyen Thi Lan Anh, 48, for appropriating US$94,000 from an American firm who has business relations with a Vietnamese company.

The two are facing charges of “appropriation of property by using a computer network, telecommunications network, or electronic device,” as prescribed in Vietnam’s Penal Code.

Anh had colluded with some foreigners to hack email accounts of Vietnamese enterprises to search for emails relating to payment with their foreign partners to make swindling schemes, police said.

When they illegally accessed the email account of an enterprise based in southern Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province, they discovered this business was going to receive over $94,000 from its U.S. partner.

They went on to create an email address similar to that of the local enterprise and used this fake email to ask the American firm to transfer the amount to a designated bank account.

The account was opened at a bank branch in Phu Nhuan District by Woojin High Tec Co. Ltd., a bogus company set up by Chuong, who was hired by Lan as her aid for VND10 million ($438) per month.    

After receiving the payment instructions from the false email, the American firm wired $94,000 to that account, unware of the trick.

On September 20, local police arrested Chuong when he came to the bank to make a withdrawal from the account. Lan was detained shortly after.  

Lan told investigators that if the swindle had gone smoothly, she and Chuong would have enjoyed 10 percent and five percent of the proceeds, respectively.

Searching the two suspects' houses, police seized a lot of objects and materials related to their offense.

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Vinh Tho / Tuoi Tre News

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