$20 MILLION WORTH OF CRYPTO STOLEN IN A SIM SWAPPING SCHEME

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Old Tricks, New Bounty

There is nothing new under the Sun, you can always dust off old methods and update them to commit new crimes. Although Nicholas Truglia probably didn’t think of this when, together with others, he stole a staggering amount in crypto.

He took part in a complex SIM swapping scheme where the criminal gang got access to the victim’s cell phone. This method has been used ever since the dawn of cell phones. However, as more and more sensitive data is stored on these devices, the crooks may get access to bigger secrets – and bigger loot.

How It Works

The SIM swap is a form of cyberattack where the hackers gain access to the victim’s phone. The criminals link the SIM card of the victim’s phone to a device which they control. They can then control the victim’s device and gain access to accounts linked to the victim’s phone.

Truglia and his gang used this method to access a cryptocurrency account that held over $20 million worth of crypto. After getting into the account they quickly transferred the amount to Truglia’s crypto wallet and divided the loot among themselves within a few hours.

Old School Punishment

Truglia was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his participation in the theft of over $20 million worth of cryptocurrency. In addition he got sentenced to three years of supervised release. He will also have to pay up, $20,379,007 as restitution and his share of the bounty, $983,010.72, will also be forfeited from him by the authorities.

Another typical method scammers use is plain old lying. Pretending to be someone else is sadly a widely used scam even today. With the help of technology, scammers are safer than ever. They do not even need to meet their victims and they can disappear in an instant – or more likely, with a single click.

According to a new report from Certik, the number of Youtube scams skyrocketed in 2022. The blockchain security firm warns users that scams related to crypto exchanges and so-called front-running bots are extremely common nowadays. They advise users never to run codes that they do not understand fully, as even a few lines of well-written code can be dangerous. The difference between a normal and a malicious code is undetectable for the plain eyes. This is why the security firm advise to use common sense, or as they put it:

The golden rule of scamming applies here: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

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