The activity known as “SIM swapping” has been put on notice in New York, following the latest announcement made in an official press release by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
SIM swapping is a type of identity theft in which a victim’s cellular information is rerouted to the perpetrator’s SIM card by convincing wireless service providers to carry out the procedure.
The latest perpetrator of SIM swapping, and the first in New York to be indicted for such an offence, Dawson Bakies, is accused of stealing the identities of over 50 victims in the United States, while stealing USD 10,000 in cryptocurrency from three of the victims and attempting to extort one of the victims by asking for a BTC payment.
Bakies managed to redirect the traffic of his victims to multiple iPhones, thereby accessing 18 Google and crypto accounts, then changing the owners account passwords so they couldn’t be accessed and protected. Manhattan DA Cyrus R. Vance Jr. has thrown out a strong warning to would be SIM swappers who might be thinking of casting their net in New York, commenting that his office is:
“…putting the small handful of sophisticated ‘SIM Swappers’ out there on notice,” adding, “we know what you’re doing, we know how to find you, and we will hold you criminally accountable, no matter where you are.”
DA Vance also warned service providers to show more vigilance and take action to ensure such a practice does not become commonplace:
“..wake up to the new reality that by quickly porting SIMs – in order to ease new activations and provide speedy customer service – you are exposing unwitting, law-abiding customers to massive identity theft and fraud.”
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