20-year old Crypto extortionist from California has been charged for his role in 28 SIM-swap attacks and multiple attempts to extort a physician out of 100 bitcoins, as we are reading in the upcoming Bitcoin Scam news.
The crypto extortionist, 20-year old Richard Yuan Li, was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in 28 SIM-swap attacks that targeted at least 20 individuals as well as the attempted extortion of a New Orleans-based doctor and investor known as ‘’Investor A.’’ Li collaborated with others as well for two years and tried to defraud victims through the SIM-swapping attacks with some of the co-conspirators remaining unknown, according to the reports by the United States Attorney’s office. The SIM-swaps involve rerouting a victim’s SIM to another phone that is in possession of the attackers which will eventually allow them to gain access to personal information and sensitive accounts including bank accounts, emails, and crypto-wallets.
The complaint also asserted that Li took participation in a scheme to defraud Apple Inc. back in 2018, after convincing Apple customer support staff they had not received an Iphone 8 that was purchased from the company. Li and his team were able to gain possession of a second device. Later in 2019, a victim’s phone number was swapped to a SIM card contained in the previously obtained iPhone 8 which Li operated from his house in San Diego.
Li and his team were able to gain control over the Victim’s A email before getting access to several of the physician’s accounts with multiple crypto exchanges. After stealing a significant portion of the victim’s cryptocurrency, as the group rang the physician to demand a ransom of 100 bitcoins to prevent sensitive information from getting leaked and restoring control over his crypto accounts. Between October 2018 and December 2018, Li participated in 28 SIM-swapping attacks that targeted at least 19 other victims. Li faces up to five years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.
During May, a crypto investor and the victim of a $23 million SIM-swap attack in 2018, Michael Terpin, filed a civil suit of $71 in damages against 18-year old Ellis Pinsky from Irvington New York, from masterminding the hack. Pinsky had been just 15 years old at the time and planned to retire after the heist. The number of crypto attacks even increased during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
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