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U.S: Two SIM Swappers Indicted for Stealing Cryptocurrencies

Reading Time: 2 minutes by on February 6, 2019 News
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The United States Department of Justice has detailed the indictment of Ahmad Wagaafe Hared and Matthew Gene Ditman on the grounds of identity theft and conspiring to commit computer fraud and abuse, according to public documents published on February 4, 2019.

SIM-Swap Scheme

Reportedly, Ahmad Wagaafe Hared, a 21-year-old Tucson resident and Matthew Gene Ditman, a 23-year-old Las Vegas man, have both been indicted by the federal grand jury for crimes relating to cryptocurrency SIM swapping.

They are both alleged to have illegally obtained funds from cryptocurrency companies and investors. Specifically, the duo allegedly hijacked their victims’ phone number through deceptive means.

They used social engineering techniques to trick mobile network service providers into transferring a victim’s mobile number to another line controlled by them. As a result, they gained access to people’s email accounts and subsequently, accounts containing cryptocurrencies on exchanges.

Interestingly, the two fraudsters also worked alongside other conspirators to steal funds from compromised accounts.

Accused Persons to Reappear in Court

On these grounds, Hared who had already appeared in court on January 31, 2019, and released on a $100,000 bond, will have to reappear in the U.S. Magistrate Court on February 13, 2019.

Likewise, Ditman who had also made an initial appearance on January 31, 2019, in the District of Nevada, has been scheduled for another hearing on February 6, 2019.

The document further states that if both are found guilty of one or more charges of “conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse, threatening to damage a protected computer and aggravated Identity theft”, then they will face the full force of the law.

Depending on the charges they are found guilty of, their punishment could range between a $250,000 fine, two to five years in imprisonment, three years of supervised release, $100 special assessment, forfeiture and restitution.

Nevertheless, the U.S. Department of Justice has noted that they are still innocent until proven otherwise. punishment will only be imposed by the court after the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute have been considered.

On the Rise

Cases of SIM swapping attack has been on the rise of late and prominent amongst youths.

In November 2018, BTCManager informed that Nicholas Truglia had been arrested for allegedly stealing  $1 million worth of cryptocurrencies through a SIM swap attack.

In related news, BTCManager reported on February 4, 2019, that Dawson Bakies, a 20-year old man had been indicted by Manhattan’s District Attorney for cryptocurrency SIM swapping.

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