A teenager has been arrested in Canada after committing what Ontario law enforcement officials have described as the biggest single-person crypto theft. Canadian accused of stealing tens of millions of dollars via sim card swap targeting crypto holder in the United States
Teenager arrested in Canada for stealing crypto fortune from American
A young Canadian from Hamilton, in the province of Ontario, has been accused of stealing a cryptocurrency worth C $ 46 million (over $ 36 million). The digital money was reportedly embezzled in a SIM card swap attack on a victim residing in the United States.
Local police believe it to be the largest single-man crypto theft, the Toronto Star reported. In March 2020, Canadian law enforcement joined forces with the US Secret Service’s Electronic Crimes Task Force and the FBI in the investigation that led to the teenager’s arrest, according to a statement from the Hamilton Police Department.
The press release revealed that police were able to identify the perpetrator when he used some of the digital coins to purchase a rare online gaming username. Without this decision, the newspaper notes, the youngster could have gotten away with the crime.
The teenager now faces a sentence of up to 10 years in prison for the staggering cryptocurrency theft. Canadian authorities have also announced that they have already made several seizures of crypto assets valued at over C $ 7 million (over $ 5.5 million).
During a SIM card swap, fraudsters manage to transfer a victim’s phone number to another SIM card by exploiting the security holes of the mobile phone service provider. The crooks often convince or bribe the carrier’s employees to complete the transfer, after which they receive all messages and calls on a device they control, including those intended for authentication purposes.
SIM exchange attacks targeting crypto are on the rise around the world, with bitcoin prices reaching all-time highs this year. In February, Europol arrested 10 members of a criminal gang trading SIM cards who allegedly stole coins worth $ 100 million, as reported by Bitcoin.com News. The arrests follow an international investigation into a series of cases involving this particular technique in 2020.
Do you expect SIM swap attacks against cryptocurrency holders to increase further in the future? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
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