SIM swapper gets 8 years in prison for account hacks, crypto theft

SIM swapper gets 8 years in prison for account hacks, crypto theft

November 29, 2023 at 02:32PM

Amir Hossein Golshan, 25, received an eight-year prison sentence and was fined $1.2 million for conducting various online scams, including SIM swapping and cryptocurrency theft. He admitted to hijacking a model’s Instagram and defrauding hundreds, causing $740,000 in losses. Golshan also stole $319,000 in NFTs and $70,000 in cryptocurrencies.

Meeting Takeaways:

1. Amir Hossein Golshan, aged 25, was sentenced to eight years in prison and must pay $1.2 million in restitution for crimes including SIM swapping, merchant fraud, support fraud, account hacking, and cryptocurrency theft.

2. Golshan pleaded guilty to these charges on July 19, 2023, acknowledging that he hijacked at least one high-profile Instagram account and engaged in various online scams from April 2019 to February 2023.

3. The U.S. Department of Justice reported Golshan caused roughly $740,000 in losses to numerous victims over several years through his criminal activities.

4. Golshan’s tactics included using VPNs and different account names to conceal his identity, and he became increasingly sophisticated in his online crimes over time.

5. He successfully performed SIM swaps, particularly targeting T-Mobile users, to take over social media accounts by bypassing SMS-based two-factor authentication.

6. In December 2021, he hijacked a Los Angeles-based model’s Instagram account, extorted $2,000 from her, and also exploited the account to conduct financial fraud with her contacts.

7. Golshan also scammed about 500 victims into paying for fake Instagram verification services, making approximately $82,000.

8. As Apple Support, Golshan deceived individuals into providing their security codes, which he used to access their iCloud accounts and steal digital assets such as NFTs and cryptocurrency, resulting in a theft of $389,000 and resale of assets for $130,000.

9. Recommendations for protecting against SIM swapping include using number porting security features offered by carriers, utilizing physical security keys or authenticator apps instead of SMS for two-factor authentication, and being mindful of personal information shared online.

10. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has implemented new rules to increase consumer protection against SIM-swapping attacks and make fraudulent number transfers more difficult.

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