Reported recently, two Massachusetts men were charged and arrested for allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars by using the illegal practice, SIM Swapping.
The “so-called SIM Swapping” forces/scams telecom operators to gain access to the same phone number which victim uses and upon gaining access to the victim’s phone number, they then use it to track private services such as to authenticate monetary transactions, email accounts, and cryptocurrency wallets.
Eric Meiggs and Declan Harrington, a pair of Massachusetts men allegedly targeted crypto executives and threatened their families. As per the reports, victims are involved in publishing crypto trading guidance including individuals spearheading blockchain projects and few others are the leaders in crypto-based companies. It was also said that the duo indicted on 11-count related to cyber activities including conspiracy, wire fraud, computer fraud and abuse, aggravated identity theft.
They ran a years-long scheme to steal over $550,000 worth of cryptocurrency, reported by the U.S. Justice Department. Furthermore, the reports mentioned that hackers target these types of victims majorly because they are involved in the crypto-ecosystem and the defendant believes “these victims likely had significant amounts of cryptocurrency”. It’s worth adding that the social profiles of these victims with a significant following are also another aspect of a potential target.
Accordingly, defendant Eric Meiggs and Declan Harrington took over the access of two target’s social media accounts as well as their email accounts. However, the indictment reads that “they then changed the passwords on [the victim’s] online accounts”. According to the complaint, they even managed to communicate the victim’s daughter via a text message and said: “Tell your dad to give us bitcoin,”.
Notably, the indictments urged that the scammers potentially look into the highly public participants and as such the FBI recently warned early crypto adopters to stay alert and secure their private information.
Image Source – Flickr