A total of 8 criminals have been arrested on 9 February as a result of an international investigation into a series of sim swapping attacks targeting high-profile victims in the United States, writes Europol.
These arrests follow earlier ones in Malta (1) and Belgium (1) of other members belonging to the same criminal network. The attacks orchestrated by this criminal gang targeted thousands of victims throughout 2020, including famous internet influencers, sport stars, musicians and their families. The criminals are believed to have stolen from them over USD 100 million in cryptocurrencies after illegally gaining access to their phones.This enabled them to steal money, cryptocurrencies and personal information, including contacts synced with online accounts.
They also hijacked social media accounts to post content and send messages masquerading as the victim. This type of fraud is known as ‘sim swapping’ and it was identified as a key trend on the rise in the latest Europol Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment.
It involves cybercriminals taking over use of a victim’s phone number by essentially deactivating their SIM and porting the allocated number over to a SIM belonging to a member of the criminal network.It’s not just celebrities who are under attack. Anyone and everyone with a mobile phone can fall victim to sim swapping.
Here are a few tips to help you stay one step ahead from the criminals after your personal information: .
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