California police arrested a 19-year-old hacker, who was appropriating crypto from stolen phones. In total the teenager has managed to steal $1 million worth of cryptocurrencies.
As reported in the Krebs on Security blog dedicated to cybercrimes, Xzavyer Narvaez, along with an accomplice (name not disclosed) were engaged in the so-called SIM-swapping. For several years they’ve been hacking the stolen phones, by transferring numbers to the new SIM cards and withdrawing money from crypto wallets installed on them. The received funds they spent on expensive cars.
The 19-year-old swindler was caught after he used the same device for two weeks. The police found that he used the Bitpay converter when buying a McLaren car. The company provided police with the data to identify the transactions.
Law enforcement officers found out that between the period of March through June, 157 Bitcoins had been transferred via Xzavyer Narvaez’s Bittrex account.
In early August, the California police have arrested a 20-year-old student, who was using the same scheme but was more “successful” and stole more than $5 million in cryptocurrency. The police managed to trace Xzavyer Narvaez during the investigation of the Ortiz’s case.
In mid-August, the crypto investor Michael Terpin sued the AT&T telecommunications company after his phone was hacked via the sim-swap scheme and $24 million worth in crypto was stolen.