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Daily fraud update: 23rd October

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Leading investor warns against SIM swaps

A crypto investor who fell victim to a type of fraud known as SIM swapping has appealed publicly to the US Federal Communications Commission – or FCC – to take action.

Michael Terpin, who took US telecoms giant AT&T to court last year over claims that their employees had colluded in the SIM swap fraud, lost the equivalent of $24 million US dollars in crypto.

In an interview with crypto news outlet Coindesk, Terpin warned that this sort of problem could lead to wider issue relating to the uptake of cryptocurrencies in the future.

“I’m sick and tired of this happening while AT&T denies it,” he said.

“There’s no future of a billion people on blockchain without the phone companies fixing this.”

“I hope this doesn’t happen to future generations of people interested in cryptocurrency and blockchain or that they’re afraid to get in because they think they will be hacked,” he said.

Terpin is asking the court to provide damages of $23.8 million from AT&T.

Since his open letter to the FCC was published, over 50 other people have approached him to claim that they too have experienced SIM swap incidents.

Crypto scam investigation reveals targeting of Muslims

An investigation into a major crypto scam has revealed that Muslims may have been targeted in particular.

According to a report in The Spectator magazine, a scheme called OneCoin – which has been under investigation and in the crypto headlines a lot in recent years – may have scammed its investors to the tune of millions.

However, the report – which was compiled by those working on a documentary for the BBC – said that a list of usernames of those who were targeted revealed a particular bent towards British South Asians, and Muslim ones in particular.

It is also believed that those responsible for recruiting new investors were also predominantly South Asian.

The problem is believed to have got so far that a Muslim scholar, Mufti Amjad Mohammed, decided to issue a fatwa banning individuals from investing in OneCoin.

OneCoin had claimed to have a certificate which permitted it to open its doors to Muslim investors, many of whom follow strict rules under Islam regarding investing.

But Mufti Amjad Mohammed disagreed. “There was no evidence of any research supporting the certificate,” he is quoted as saying.

OneCoin has faced a number of accusations in recent years.

It is understood that the firm managed to operate in 175 nations, and that more than €4 billion euros were invested – €100m of which came from the UK alone between 2014 and 2017.

In a statement published in The Spectator, OneCoin denied the suggestion that it was not a cryptocurrency.

“OneCoin verifiably fulfils all criteria of the definition of a cryptocurrency,” it said.

“Our wish and aim is the [OneCoin] is to be traded to much further extent,” it added.