The European police agency Europol recently worked together with other authorities around Europe to arrest a total of 10 cybercriminals, who are charged with stealing $100 million worth in digital currencies. What is particular about this case is that the fraudsters used the aptly named SIM-swapping techniques to scam users.
The press release on the case reveals that the perps were targeting wealthy individuals, online influencers, musicians, and sports stars. According to Europol the criminals have supposedly stolen some $100 million by gaining direct access to the victims’ phones.
The incarcerations came after a long investigation that involved multiple nations, including Canada, the US, the UK, Belgium, and Malta. Europol was the main coordinator of European operations. The pan police unit added that, “… the investigation uncovered how a network composed of a dozen criminals worked together to access the victims’ phone numbers and take control of their apps or accounts by changing the passwords,”
The SIM-swap technique is a very popular method used by hackers to take over an individual’s phone entirely. The next step is to manipulate the crypto apps and services on the phone as well as any other personal data they might find. Europol was quick to note that SIM-swapping is a key tactic in the world of cybercrime.
Meanwhile, AT&T, the mobile service provider, was sued by SIM swap victims because of the firm’s negligence and inability to act.