back to article eBay scammer steals identity of special agent investigating him

A cybercriminal who ran a mere eBay scam became a more significant collar for the US Department of Justice after he successfully stole the identity of the special agent investigating him. Rohit Jawa, 25, has pleaded guilty to eight counts of wire fraud, and one count of stealing a special agent's identity which he then used to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The line between chutzpah and reckless

    is often the same fine line between spectacular success and laughable fiasco

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: The line between chutzpah and reckless

      Absolutely. This is the case of a bottom feeder to whome Fate appears to deliver an opportunity, but it was actually a test of character.

      He'll have a few years to rethink his life now.

    2. Graham Marsden

      Ok, so 10/10 for style...

      ... but minus several million for good thinking!

  2. chivo243 Silver badge

    you can't make this up

    did JAWA know this cop was on his butt? Or is this some crazy coincidence?

    See title.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    It's not unusual to find criminals who think they're brighter than they are but this seems to be an outstanding example.

    OTOH am I alone in being worried by the idea of "a web portal which provides access to criminal intelligence and other highly privileged information for law enforcement officials" which can be accessed by a bit of social engineering?

  4. Richard 1

    His balls were WAY bigger than his brain. Full credit to him for turning minor criminality into potentially a lengthy prison term.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      To be followed by deportation back to India and banning from ever visiting the USA again.

      He really didn't think that through, did he?

  5. JacobZ

    Should have talked to Uncle Owen

    He'd have told them never to trust a Jawa

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Should have talked to Uncle Owen

      Ouch! That's cruel, but funny.

    2. Joe User

      Re: Should have talked to Uncle Owen

      C-3PO put it best: "I can't abide these Jawas. Disgusting creatures."

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Should have talked to Uncle Owen

        > I can't abide these Jawas

        Quite right - terrible Eastern European motorbikes. Engines made of Swiss cheese, frames made of partially-vulcanised rubber. One step up from CZ motorbikes though.

        Mines the one with the Honda C70 manual in the pocket. That's what I was riding when my brothers had Jawas and CZs..

    3. Kane Silver badge

      Re: Should have talked to Uncle Owen

      He'd have told them never to trust a Jawa


  6. Alister Silver badge

    one count of stealing a special agent's identity

    Is that really a specific offence on the statute books? Wow, they do think ahead, don't they!

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      I think it's more a case of "Impersonating a Federal Officer" which, yes, is a federal offense (18 US Code § 912).

      1. Kyorin

        Just this week I had an Ebay scammer send me an empty, but "signed-for" envelope containing nothing but a flyer, just so he could then provide "proof of delivery" to Ebay. Nasty and deceitful fellow who I suspect will shortly get his just deserts. Have raised this with Ebay who are now investigating, as it's clear he's done this to others, but am also considering calling in the police as well, but with all the cutbacks, it's doubtful they will do anything about it...

        1. MrRimmerSIR!


          DEFINITELY get a crime number from the police. Even if they don't do anything, it will help your case with eBay. I had similar - was sent a (tracked, signed-for) postcard from China instead of the electronic item that I ordered. eBay/Paypal sorted the problem out without hassle.

          eBay will send you instructions about what to do, just follow them and let the process do its stuff.

          1. Adam 52 Silver badge

            Re: @Kyorin

            You are more likely to get an investigation if you report it to

            Unlike you local force they have the time, skill and budget to do something.

        2. OmniCitadel


          Ahhh mail fraud, one of the more fun ways to get the feds after you....

      2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        18 US Code § 912

        Jack Walsh: I know my rights. You owe me phone calls.

        Alonzo Mosely: What should be of paramount importance to you right now is not the phone calls, it's the fact that you're gonna spend ten years for impersonating a federal agent.

        Jack Walsh: 10 years for impersonating a fed, uh?

        Alonzo Mosely: 10 years.

        Jack Walsh: How comes no one's after you?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pretty impressive

    He kind of made FBI a laughing stock, first, he broke their "security" by social engineering (" purporting to be the special agent phoned FBI tech support and successfully obtained a temporary username and password) and then he set up fake FBI ebay and other accounts impersonating NINE FBI staff, including the agent who'd been investingating him. You couldn't make this up...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: pretty impressive

      And when will the follow story on the termination of the fbi employee to granted him that access?

    2. elDog

      Re: pretty impressive

      I'm thinking impressive enough that he'll be quickly hired by some unnamed agency of some english-speaking country - they're all in need of such obvious talent. And the consequences be damned.

      1. Peter Simpson 1
        Thumb Up

        Re: pretty impressive

        After he gets out, he'll be calling you to inform you that he has detected that your Windows computer has a virus.

        1. The Boojum

          Re: pretty impressive

          Sounds waaaay below his level of ability.

          1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

            Re: pretty impressive

            "Sounds waaaay below his level of ability."

            Sort of. Considering the amount of work he put into this I can't help thinking he could just as well tried to pull off something really big and lucrative - or do something legit and lucrative.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To Whom It Mey Concern

    The story not UNTRUE.

    Respectfully your,

    Directa of Faderal Buroau of Investigashions

  9. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    made absolute fools of the g-men. give him a medal. lock the little twat up for fraud as well though.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not all that funny

    This will happen to GCHQ eventually...

    1. Stumpy

      Re: Not all that funny

      How do you know it hasn't already?....

  11. FredBloggs61

    Let's just hope he doesn't team up with someone like this:

  12. Ben Tasker Silver badge

    1&!1 Mail and Media

    True&False Mail and Media?

    Or did someone accidentally hold shift and then fail to press backspace?

    1. Cuddles Silver badge

      @Ben Tasker

      Maybe they've been bought by Yahoo?!?

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      true && false would be false so it may be intended as an elaborate pseudonym for "false" -- as in "false email addresses".

      Of course & is a bitwise operator so 1&!1 is actually 0.

  13. Nightkiller

    Your H1B visa program in action.

  14. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge

    when collared, Jawa was quoted as saying


  15. Spaceman Spiff

    Poetic justice?

    The agent should be fired for being an idiot, and the criminal pardoned for showing how stupid our "protectors" are!

    1. ShadowDragon8685

      Re: Poetic justice?

      Why, exactly, should the OIG investigator be fired?

      He suspected theft of a parcel by a postal employee, not mail fraud. He corresponded with the seller under that premise, and law enforcement officers and investigators are generally required to provide identification when asked, and for good reason.

      Really, who's ballsy enough to attempt to steal the identity of a LEO? Well, this utinni, apparently, but seriously, you DO NOT want to go down a road that has law enforcement refusing to provide their credentials. Down that road leads to far greater impersonation of law enforcement, since anyone loud and burly can just start shouting "Police! On the ground! I don't gotta show shit!" and people will comply for fear of legal problems if they don't and oh look, now they're being robbed/kidnapped/raped/murdered/assaulted with a bannana-cream pie.

    2. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Poetic justice?

      No, all the officer did was provide his credentials, which he is obliged to do by law.

      I suspect the rest is the result of lax procedures that don't have a second party authentication requirement, or not following those procedures that do.

      None of which was done by the officer whose creds had been stolen.

      If there is an idiot in the room, it ain't the agent.

  16. Winkypop Silver badge


    On ya (motor) bike son!

    1. fedoraman

      Re: Jawa

      I CZ what you did there!

  17. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    [at a party]

    Girl: So, what do you do?

    Guy: I'm a special agent."

    Girl: Wow, really? FBI?

    Guy: No, um, post office...

    1. Florida1920

      Fourteen US Postal Inspectors and Postal Police Officers have died in the line of duty.

  18. Florida1920

    You can't fix stupid

    Guy finds out Feds are investigating him so he starts hacking the Feds. Throw away the key, there's no intelligent life there.

    1. Pookietoo

      Re: Feds are investigating him

      At that point he was just a witness.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This guy should be recruited to social-engineer his way into ISIL, where he could cause some problems..

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Watched Brazil again last night, and saw this now.

    I don't piss and moan often, but when I do, I use the idea that asshats like him are going to force us into that nightmare.

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