There’s a whole new wave of cybercrime that has been inspired by the mobile-first nature of cryptocurrency wallet storage through platforms like Coinbase and Gemini.
Called “SIM swapping,” the fraud is done when a hacker first impersonates his victim while calling the relevant wireless provider to prompt the transfer of the victim’s current cell phone number to a new sim card owned by the hacker. This enables the hacker to gain access to victim’s information, apps and more importantly, access to their SMS to gain secure access codes to financial platforms.
This was exactly what happened when 21-year old Nicholas Truglia allegedly hacked San Francisco resident and Silicon Valley executive Robert Ross on October 26, gaining access to Ross’ Coinbase and Gemini accounts to steal more than $1 million in cryptocurrency.
Truglia has been charged with 21 counts, which include identity theft, fraud and embezzlement. While law enforcement officers were able to recover roughly $300,000 from Truglia’s hard drive, they fear that the remaining $700,000 are gone for good. As a result, Truglia is also being slapped with attempted grand theft.
While Truglia reportedly gained access to numerous other Silicon Valley executives’ cell phones, no other incidence of theft had occurred.
This news comes roughly two months after Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, a professional gamer known for his League of Legends prowess, was allegedly robbed of $200,000 in cryptocurrency by hackers who staged a similar SIM swap scam to gain access to Peng’s Coinbase account.
More: Hacker lifts $1 million in cryptocurrency using San Francisco man’s phone number, prosecutors say
Disclaimer: This article’s author has cryptocurrency holdings that can be tracked here. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Always conduct your own due diligence before making investments.