Another case of SIM swapping has reportedly been recorded in the U.S., as a 23-year-old has attempted to steal cryptocurrencies. This type of fraud appears to be growing as a significant issue worldwide, especially within the community with many previous similar cases.
SIM Swapping To Steal Cryptocurrencies
A young man from Pennsylvania has been implicated in fraudulent activities and will face a federal grand jury, according to a recent report. Per the document, the 23-year-old Anthony Faulk has been conspiring to commit wire fraud by stealing cryptocurrencies from company executives working in the same industry.
Even though the exact stolen amount is unclear, it might be a substantial one. The report says that the perpetrator has converted the digital assets to fiat and used it to purchase a house, one Ferrari and three other cars, a Rolex watch, jewelry, and even royalty rights for twenty songs.
Moreover, Faulk had undisclosed partners, and apparently, they all extorted victims of the SIM swapping scheme. If this proves to be true, Faulk faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. For now, he had to pay the same amount for his warrant, after being arrested.
Similarly, another two men were arrested and charged in Massachusetts with a major nationwide scheme for stealing social media accounts and cryptocurrencies. By SIM Swapping, they purportedly attempted or stole $550,000 in crypto from at least ten victims throughout the country.
The Threat of SIM Swapping
SIM Swapping is a complicated but unfortunately quite an effective scheme. It generally starts with gathering personal information about potential victims in various ways. Then the perpetrators contact the mobile telephone company, using social engineering techniques to convince the provider to port the victim’s phone number to a new SIM card, belonging to them.
If successful, they gain control over a lot of personal information and are capable of resetting passwords and changing 2FA verification codes to access protected accounts. This is where it starts affecting the cryptocurrency community as most accounts have such verification processes.
According to another report, SIM swapping has been around for years but picked up after the parabolic price increase of the cryptocurrency market in 2017 and early 2018. However, the report also concludes that the authorities have managed to crack down on such cases and they have dropped significantly in 2019.
Nevertheless, crypto investors need to be careful and take every measure of safety required to protect their assets.