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Daily fraud update: 11th May

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New York teenager sued by Michael Terpin

A man from New York is being sued by a crypto entrepreneur who claims he was defrauded out of a significant amount of cash.

Ellis Pinsky, who was aged just 15 at the time of the alleged crimes, is being sued for a sum of more than $70m after claims that he allegedly masterminded a crypto fraud ring.

Allegedly, this ring was responsible for taking millions of dollars from traders.

The case focuses on a practice known as SIM swapping. In this fraud technique, a hacker may collaborate with a junior worker at a telecoms company in order to gain access to certain information about a person’s mobile phone.

This information is then used by the hacker to gain access to crypto wallets and similar.

In another variation of the scam, the hacker might find out some crucial piece of personal data about the victim and then use that to pretend to be the victim, perhaps during a phone call with the telecoms firm.

Terpin claims that the SIM swap ring scammed him out of a maximum of over $23m.

In a statement, Terpin appeared to refer to the unusual circumstances of the case and in particular to its defendant.

“On the surface, Pinsky is an ‘all American boy’. The tables are now turned”, he was quoted as saying.

The case is part of a broader campaign by Terpin to gain what he perceived to be justice after the alleged SIM swap case.

Last year, for example, Terpin secured victory in a civil case in California against a man named Nicholas Truglia.

There is now some suggestion that Truglia may have worked alongside Pinsky.

In terms of corporate allegations, meanwhile, Terpin is engaged in a battle with major American telecoms provider AT&T, which he claims did not act to sufficiently protect his money and his information.

That particular case continues.

Top lawyer reflects on nature of crypto scams 

A leading lawyer with expertise in the field of cryptocurrencies has given an extensive interview on the topic of crypto scams.

Preston Byrne, who serves as a partner within the Washington, D.C., offices of the firm Anderson Kill, discussed the topic with a reporter at CoinDesk.

During the interview with Leigh Cuen, Byrne made some bold pronouncements about the nature of crypto scams.

He claimed, for example, that even cryptocurrencies which go on to become well-known are not necessarily distinguishable from scams in the very early days of their existence.

“There is really very little difference, at least in the point of origin…whether something is a scam”, he was quoted as saying during a conversation on the many projects which spring up in the crypto field.

“Take Ethereum, for example. Ethereum had all manner of promises that were made…the statements coming from the Ethereum Foundation were somewhat more measured”, he added.