Former Fall River Man Indicted for Massive Rideshare Fraud Scheme
FALL RIVER – A former Fall River resident was indicted on Thursday by a federal grand jury on aggravated identity theft and fraud conspiracy charges, after he allegedly used stolen identities to open and sell rideshare and delivery driver accounts nationwide.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said 27-year-old Caio Felipe Oliveira Dos Santos of Brazil allegedly conspired with 18 others to use fake documents and stolen identities to open the fraudulent accounts.
They would then allegedly rent or sell them to drivers who might not otherwise qualify as service drivers, according to the office.
Dos Santos is also accused of exploiting referral bonus programs offered by the rideshare and delivery companies, using bots and GPS spoofing technology to increase his and co-conspirators' income.
Federal prosecutors allege that Dos Santos and his co-conspirators obtained victims' names, birth dates, and other identity information through sources including the Dark Web as well as by photographing their ID cards while making alcohol deliveries.
The conspirators then allegedly applied for driver accounts using victims' identities to pass background checks, and even edited the victims' drivers licenses to show photos of their customers who rented or bought the fraudulent accounts.
This allowed their alleged customers to circumvent facial recognition technology that rideshare and delivery companies use as a security measure, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Dos Santos was indicted on Oct. 27 on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
He faces at least two and up to 22 years in prison, three years of supervised release and either a $250,000 fine or twice the gross gain from the offense, whichever is greater.
Fifteen of his alleged co-conspirators have been arrested, while three remain at large. All 18 were indicted for the purported scheme in May 2021.
Anyone who thinks they may be a victim in this case is encouraged to visit the Department of Justice website.