Canadian Police Arrest Teen for Allegedly Stealing $36M in Crypto

It is the biggest cryptocurrency theft ever reported in Canada, police said.

Nov 17, 2021 at 8:13 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 17, 2021 at 8:33 p.m. UTC

Canadian police in Hamilton, Ontario, arrested a teen for allegedly stealing C$46 million ($36 million) worth of cryptocurrency through a SIM swap attack on a victim located in the U.S.

  • This is the biggest cryptocurrency theft reported so far in Canada, the Hamilton police said in a press release on Wednesday.
  • The victim was targeted by a SIM swap attack, in which scammers hijack accounts by manipulating cellular network employees to duplicate phone numbers so “threat actors” can intercept two-factor authorization requests, the police said .
  • Some of the stolen cryptocurrency was used by the teen to purchase an online username that the online gaming community considers rare. This suspicious transaction then led investigators to uncover the account holder of the username.
  • The Hamilton police said that they worked on the case in a joint investigation with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force.
  • This case is currently before the Canadian courts.

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Tanzeel Akhtar is a CoinDesk news reporter based in Europe.