According to on-chain sleuth ZachXBT, a Canadian scammer known as “Yahya” has been involved in more than 17 SIM swaps, resulting in the theft of more than $4.5 million in cryptocurrency.
ZachXBT’s investigation began when he noticed a cluster of suspicious transactions involving multiple cryptocurrency exchanges. He was able to identify a common thread between the transactions: they were all linked to SIM swaps.
SIM swapping is a type of identity theft in which the attacker gains control of a victim’s SIM card, which is the small plastic card that allows a phone to connect to a cellular network. Once the attacker has control of the victim’s SIM card, they can use it to intercept text messages, make calls, and even access online accounts that are linked to the victim’s phone number.
In the case of Yahya, he used SIM swaps to gain access to the cryptocurrency accounts of his victims. He would then transfer the cryptocurrency from the victims’ accounts to his own.
ZachXBT‘s investigation also revealed that Yahya was working with a group of other scammers. The group would typically target high-net-worth individuals, such as cryptocurrency investors and business owners.
Yahya and his accomplices are currently under investigation by law enforcement agencies in Canada and the United States.
Implications for the cryptocurrency industry
The case of Yahya is a reminder that cryptocurrency users need to be vigilant about protecting their accounts. SIM swapping is a serious threat, and it is important to take steps to mitigate the risk.
Here are some tips for protecting your cryptocurrency accounts from SIM swapping:
- Use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication for all of your online accounts.
- Be careful about what information you share online. Avoid sharing your phone number or other personal information on social media or other public websites.
- Be aware of the signs of SIM swapping. If you start receiving strange text messages or if your phone service is interrupted, it is possible that your SIM card has been compromised.
- If you think that your SIM card has been compromised, contact your mobile carrier immediately.
The case of Yahya is a reminder that the cryptocurrency industry is still in its early stages of development and that there are risks associated with using cryptocurrencies. However, there are steps that users can take to mitigate these risks. By following the tips above, users can help to protect their cryptocurrency accounts from SIM swapping and other forms of fraud.