Daily fraud round-up: 21st October

Denise Jacksone

Complaint from AT&T customer could see firm shelling out

US telecoms giant AT&T has been accused of causing the loss of almost $2m.

The complainant, who is a famous business figure, alleges that a loss of $1.8m occurred following what is known as a SIM swap, which is a type of scam in which fraudsters impersonate the identity of an owner of a mobile phone in order to access crypto wallets.

Seth Shapiro, who has won two Emmy Awards and is a business advisor, claims that AT&T let the incident happen.

He says that one of the firm’s employees was responsible for the incident.

In a complaint filed before the court, Shapiro and his lawyers complain that the alleged hacks happened over the course of a year between May 2018 and May 2019.

“On at least four occasions between May 16, 2018 and May 18, 2019, AT&T employees obtained unauthorised access to Mr. Shapiro’s AT&T wireless account, viewed his confidential and proprietary personal information, and transferred control over Mr. Shapiro’s AT&T wireless number from Mr. Shapiro’s phone to a phone controlled by third-party hackers in exchange for money”, the complaint reads.

“The hackers then utilised their control over Mr. Shapiro’s AT&T wireless number — including control secured through cooperation with AT&T employees — to access his personal and digital finance accounts and steal more than $1.8 million from Mr. Shapiro”, it went on to say.

The case continues.

Brazilian congressman seeks inquiry into crypto scams

A leading politician in Brazil has said that a government-sponsored inquiry into the proliferation of cryptocurrency scams in the country is required.

Aureo Ribeiro is bringing a bill to the country’s parliament which aims to regulate the cryptocurrency industry in Brazil to a deeper and further extent.

He is also requesting that the parliament announces plans to investigate the crypto market in the country, which – he claims – suffers regularly from fraud.

According to the crypto press, Ribeiro has produced a document which outlines part of the intention behind the inquiry.

“Increasing interest in cryptocurrency transactions has been accompanied by a proliferation of fraud. The lack of regulation and vigilance combined with high levels of abstraction, anonymity, cross-border operations, and other peculiarities inherent to the crypto market shows potential risks to users and investors”, it read.

Ribeiro has been a longstanding advocate of crypto reform and has described the phenomenon of cryptocurrencies which turn out to be pyramid schemes as an “epidemic”.

He has also called for an investigation specifically into a company known as Atlas Quantum, which is a beleaguered crypto platform based in the country.

It was recently embroiled in a strange Twitter row with a crypto exchange, HitBTC.

HitBTC had been accused of blocking Atlas Quantum’s accounts, although HitBTC later published videos in rebuttal of the accusations.


Denise Jacksone

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