AT&T sued by cryptocurrency investor who was ripped off in "SIM swap fraud"

AT&T sued by cryptocurrency investor who was ripped off in
A few days ago, we told you how a nine-member gang stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and cryptocurrencies by employing the ol' SIM swap routine. This is accomplished when a crook calls a carrier's customer service department and pretends to be a subscriber. The caller claims that his SIM card is damaged, or the one he has doesn't fit a new phone he bought. With the help of a paid off insider, a replacement SIM, tied to the victim's account, is sent to the bad guy. Once the SIM is inserted by the criminal into his phone, he now has complete control of the victim's apps. Even two-party authentication is useless at this point.

Now, a gentleman named Michael Terpin has sued AT&T for $224 million after his account was infiltrated using this SIM swap fraud. Terpin, a cryptocurrency investor, lost $24 million dollars to the scheme and is seeking the return of his money and wants the wireless provider to be slapped with $200 million in punitive damages.

According to the victim, he had set up his accounts with security in mind, using two-factor authentication on all his apps. He even consulted security experts to make sure that his accounts were secure. But Terpin says that "criminal gangs" are using the LinkedIn app to find people working at certain carriers, and are paying them off to help them on the inside. He adds that part of the "SIM swap fraud" requires the paid-off insider to obtain personal information about the chosen victim; this helps the gang obtain the "replacement" SIM card that sets the whole scam in motion. "The one thing that’s been a link between [crypto hacks] is that in every case they’ve had an insider," Terpin said. He states that the FBI, Homeland Security, and the U.S. Secret Service know the identity of the rogue AT&T employee who was involved in the hack of his account.

Terpin claims that during past mediation efforts that failed, AT&T said that it was not responsible for what happened to him. As you might imagine, Terpin disagrees. You budding Perry Masons can read the complaint by clicking on the sourcelink below.

According to the complaint, AT&T had placed additional security on Terpin's account after a previous hacking attempt was foiled. Yet, it still delivered a replacement SIM card to an imposter pretending to be Mr. Terpin without requesting valid identification, or the victim's required password.


1 Comment

1. Mopowa21

Posts: 33; Member since: Jan 16, 2017

This happened to me with T-Mobile fortunately I was able to catch them when they tried to hack my bank account and cut everything off before anything was stolen. I do think if att ends up being held responsible all carriers will do more so it stops happening. Especially since the fault lies with the carrier for making it possible

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.