SIM Card Fraud Victims Counterattack, Pressure Telecommunications Giant AT&T

by Indu Sonali

According to Motherboard, a tech entrepreneur and other victims have launched a plan to raise security awareness and drive telecommunications companies to protect the interests of users after the loss of millions of dollars in cryptocurrencies due to the theft of SIM cards.

Victim Robert Ross lost about $1 million for being hacked to steal a phone number and trying to get his account on a cryptocurrency exchange. This problem has become increasingly paralyzed:

The problem is getting worse and faster. I believe that operators need to be responsible for this.

An initiative called Stop SIM Crime will not only raise awareness of the issue, but also provide victims with safety education resources, while forcing mobile operators to take more specific steps to prevent adoption. The criminal act of stealing funds from others by SIM card.

Safety education material

Before losing more than $1 million in cryptocurrencies in this incident, Ross never heard of SIM exchange fraud or theft, and there was little information on the Internet. The initiative’s website,, is hoping to change the status quo.

According to CCN last August, Ross was one of the victims of the Joel Ortiz group. This person and his accomplices earned more than $5 million by stealing a SIM card.

In the first case reported, the criminal gang stealing the SIM card stole more than $4 million in bitcoin

Ortiz specializes in individual users in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors. During the blockchain technology summit held last year, he was accused of stealing more than $1.5 million. Ortiz was arrested until the investigator obtained the international mobile device identification number of the mobile device he used in the SIM card exchange fraud with the help of telecom giant AT&T.

Ortiz’s arrest also pointed the case to Xzavyer Narvaez, who also participated in SIM card fraud. This was confirmed after the investigators found evidence on a mobile phone in Ortiz that Narvaez had used the same equipment.

SIM card scams to buy luxury sports cars

Last year, when people discovered that Narvaez used the proceeds of SIM card fraud to buy a variety of luxury cars, including the 2012 Audi R8 and 2018 McLaren, he became the headline of the major news.

SIM card fraud prisoners use stolen bitcoin to buy a luxury sports car

In addition to Ross, other victims of cryptocurrency lost millions of dollars due to SIM card fraud include bitcoin investor Michael Terpin. Last year, Terpin filed a $224 million lawsuit against AT&T, stating that telecom operators should also be held responsible for the crime of stealing a duplicate SIM card and obtaining his cryptocurrency account:

AT&T’s behavior is equivalent to working with hackers, which is a gross negligence, violates its statutory duties, and fails to comply with its commitments in its privacy policy. AT&T did what a hotel gave to a thief with a fake ID card, my room key and a safe key, allowing him to steal jewelry from a legitimate owner.

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