Phishing involves getting information from someone through unlawful means, such as impersonating a trusted entity using a fake website or disguising an email. The aim is to obtain credit card details, login credentials or other private or personal information.
In a recent case, an Italian citizen was accused of running a scheme in which he stole hundreds of unpublished book manuscripts. He allegedly carried out the phishing scam during a period of five or more years.
Filippo Bernardini, 29, was charged with aggravated identity theft and wire fraud in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He worked as a rights coordinator for Simon & Schuster UK. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrested him at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City.
Bernardini allegedly used fake email addresses to impersonate authors, editors and other publishing professionals. The phishing scam targeted high-profile writers like Ethan Hawke and Margaret Atwood as well as first-time authors.
According to the indictment, Bernardini allegedly registered over 160 fraudulent domain names and email addresses that impersonated real literary agencies and publishing companies. This included creating imposter login pages that prompted victims to provide usernames and passwords. He changed a few letters and used strategic typos to avoid suspicion.
The phishing scheme was known in the publishing industry. However, there was no evidence that the stolen manuscripts showed up on the black market or dark web. There were also no ransom demands.
Anyone who has been accused of phishing crimes in New York should hire a phishing defense attorney. Brill Legal Group is experienced at crafting clever defense strategies for our clients. Contact us right away so that we can examine the charges against you and determine your legal options.