The US Department of Justice has charged a 19-year-old US citizen who allegedly masterminded the thief of digital currencies through SIM swapping. Together with his co-conspirator, the 19-year old is being accused of stealing $16,847 worth of digital currencies from one of his victims. The Department of Justice press release revealed that a federal grand jury had indicted the 19-year-old Kyell Brian and 21-year-old Jordan Milleson on charges of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, wire fraud conspiracy, intentional damage to protected computers, and unauthorized access to computers in furtherance of the fraud.
The US teen is accused of conducting phishing and SIM swap attacks.
The 15-count superseding indictment accuses the 19-year old of setting up fraudulent Internet domains, conducting phishing and vishing attacks, and SIM swap attacks. From September 17 through January 2020, he conspired with Bryan to take over their victims’ digital currency accounts and steal their funds. While Milleson masterminded the hacking, Bryan took over the victims’ digital currency wallets and wiped them clean. The two contacted their victims via email, phone, and text messages purporting to be from reputable companies. They would then lure their victims into providing confidential information, which they would then use in SIM swapping.
Crypto scams increase this year amid the pandemic.
According to the indictment filed in July at a Maryland district court, the two fraudulently transferred digital currency worth $16,847.47 from one of their victims’ wallets. Federal prosecutors brought 13 counts against Milleson, including aggravated identity theft and unauthorized access of a protected computer.
Cryptocurrency scams have increased around the world this year amid the ongoing pandemic. Several countries reported a higher number of crypto scams this year. Authorities in many countries even issued warnings about the rise in crypto scams. Crypto regulations in most countries are still in a grey area as scammers continue to fraud people of their hard-earned money.