10 Arrested Over SIM-Swap Hacks That Stole $100M in Crypto From Celebrities: Europol

The alleged international criminal network targeted online influencers, sports stars, musicians and their families in the U.S.

Feb 10, 2021 at 12:35 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:09 p.m. UTC

Crime-fighting agency Europol says 10 people have been arrested for SIM-swap attacks that stole over $100 million in cryptocurrency from celebrities.

  • According to a Wednesday announcement, eight individuals were arrested on Feb. 9 in an international operation coordinated by Europol, following two arrests made previously in Malta and Belgium.
  • All 10 are said to be part of a global criminal network that carried out SIM swapping attacks in the U.S. throughout 2020 and targeted online influencers, sports stars, musicians and their families.
  • SIM swapping involves taking over victims’ phone numbers and then using cellphone authentication methods to access their apps or bank and cryptocurrency accounts by changing passwords.
  • To apprehend the group, Europol worked with law enforcement authorities from the U.K, the U.S, Belgium, Malta and Canada in a year-long investigation.
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