An Indian man has been arrested in the United States for stealing about $800,000 from over 400 people on social networking site Facebook. Kishore Babu Ammisetti is said to have duped these people through a provisional "credit" scheme.
The 30-year-old, who had entered the US in 2013 on a student visa, was residing illegally in the country after his visa was revoked in 2014.
He was arrested on January 25 and has now been charged by federal criminal complaint with fraud offenses through the credit scheme. Ammisetti was produced before US Magistrate Judge Donna Martinez in Hartford, Connecticut on Wednesday, January 30 and remains in detention, reported the Press Trust of India.
If convicted, he faces up to 50 years in federal prison.
Investigators in the case explained that Ammisetti had cheated hundreds of people in the US using Facebook Marketplace and most of his victims were Indians selling items or renting rooms. The man would reportedly get in touch with the advertiser and express an interest in the product or the room.
Ammisetti would then ask the advertiser for his bank details and personal information, promising to deposit the money in their accounts. He often even offered to send the money through Peer-to-Peer (P2P) transfer.
However, once he got the details, the man would contact the victim's bank and posing as the victim claimed to have made an ATM deposit which did not appear on the bank account.
The bank would then check the details and credit the victim's account with a provisional credit, investigators said. Ammisetti would then again call the advertiser and explain that the amount credited to the account was a transfer he made by mistake and request a full or partial refund.
The victim would then provide a P2P transfer to Ammisetti. Later, when the bank would find out that there had been no unregistered deposit to the victim's account, it would withdraw the funds deposited as a provisional credit.
Ammisetti was probed after he cheated over 400 people and the police found out that he carried out this scam while living as a guest at Connecticut's casinos and hotels.