Skip to main content

Canadian Teen Accused of Stealing $36 Million in Crypto

And he would've gotten away with the record setting caper too if it weren't for clout chasing.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

A Hamilton, Ontario teen is accused of stealing C$46 million ($36 million) worth of cryptocurrency in what is known as a SIM swap attack on an unsuspecting victim in the U.S.

The crypto theft is the largest ever by one person, according to the Hamilton Police.

The clout chasing Canadian may have gotten away with the caper too save for his decision to use some of the loot to purchase an "online username that was considered to be rare in the gaming community," according to the Hamilton police, who worked the case with the U.S. Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force and the FBI to arrest the teen.

That transaction prompted the feds to look into the account holder of the rare username which led them to the unnamed teen who now faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison

The police said they made "multiple cryptocurrency seizures valued today in excess of C$7 million ($5 million)." 

How to Profit From Inflation - Preview FREE Webinar

A SIM swap scam targets the two-factor authentication and two-step verification process by exploiting security weaknesses at the mobile carrier. 

Through fraud and bribes, scammers convince mobile employees to transfer the victim's phone number to the thief's SIM card.

When that happens, the victim's mobile phone will no longer be connected to the mobile network and the scammer will receive all SMS and voice calls, including those used for authentication. 

To combat this, PC Magazine recommends people download an authenticator app that generates a one-time code for users to user in two-factor situations.