A 19-year old has been charged for identity theft of $1 million cryptocurrencies grab affecting at least 75 victims in the United States.
On Dec. 18 a news release was published by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance alleging that Yousef Selassie, 19, conducted a complex “SIM-swapping” scheme targeting residents across 20 different states.
Sim Swapping Fraud
SIM-swapping also known as a port-out scam involves the theft of a victim’s cell phone number in order to hijack their online financial and social media accounts by intercepting the automated messages or phone calls used for two-factor authentication security measures.
Selassie has been indicted on nine counts, including identity theft in the first and second degrees, grand larceny in the first and fourth degrees, computer trespassing and tampering and scheming to defraud in the first degree.
In a statement, Attorney Vance said that the suspect illicitly accessed accounts belonging to 75 victims and siphoning over $1 million in cryptocurrency using “little more than an iPhone and computer.”
Selassie was arrested in Corona, California, pursuant to the execution of a search warrant, which led to the authorities. Moreover, a handwritten note was recovered containing a wallet seed phrase for a cryptocurrency wallet, which, when reconstituted, linked him to a number of known victims and the theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency.