There are many types of cryptocurrency scams that are becoming more popular as cryptocurrencies have started to seep into the mainstream markets. Last month, the Department of Justice uncovered, prosecuted, and imprison a heinous criminal syndicate that used threats and blackmail. A group of scammers that were using the SIM swapping method for assuming control of the victim’s social media accounts has been sentenced to 2 years in prison.
Eric Meiggs, 23 years old mastermind behind the operations, lead a team of scammers that were isolating victims and their families for extortion. Meiggs pleaded guilty last month, revealing a menacing story about the hacking of social media accounts and running a crypto cartel that stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in Bitcoin under his supervision.
Cryptocurrency Scammers Targeting Family Members
The crypto cartel run by Meiggs singled out high net worth individuals and planned a social media heist on the entire family at once. The scammers were using the SIM swapping method with which they would convince the network providers to transfer the control of the phone number to the scammers. Once the phone numbers were gathered, the scammers would gather the password for social media accounts and start to gather personal, financial, and sensitive information from these accounts.
While the victims were struggling to take back control of their mobile phones and social media accounts, the scammers would start sending threatening messages to more than one family member. In one case, the scammers threatened the victim with a message that reads “TELL YOUR DAD TO GIVE US BITCOIN” and told off the victim’s mother by telling her to “just give up.”
The Department of Justice has directed the cellular network services to make their verification methods more secure. While the victims have been caught, they have managed to dupe about ten people and rake in $530,000. US Law enforcement officials have been discussing the importance and necessity of introducing cybersecurity laws as the market spread of cryptocurrencies continues to grow out of bounds.
Another similar incident took place when a group of hackers dedicated to breaching social media accounts of high-profile individuals and celebrities were caught by law enforcement agencies. The hackers are developing techniques to break into social media accounts like Facebook and Gmail, and from there, they can gather a lot of personal information and cause a lot of damage to their victims.