An on-chain detective ZachXBT released a report claiming that more than $13.3M has been stolen over the past 4 months as a result of 54 SIM card swaps targeting cryptocurrency holders.
ZachXBT described the process, in which the scammers always try to create a sense of urgency with a fake claim to drain users’ assets. The detective also advises against using SMS two-factor authentication (2FA), instead using an authenticator app or security key to secure accounts.
On 23 June, ZachXBT shared the results of a survey conducted by French authorities and answered questions from the public about the 54 SIM swaps. He noted that most of the victims reside in the United States and common mobile carriers are T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T.
Furthermore, the SIM-swapping scammers essentially impersonate their victims in order to obtain their phone numbers and mobile operators. The FBI explained the process, describing how criminals “social-engineer” the mobile operators’ customer service representatives of the mobile carrier to connect the victims’ phone numbers to the SIM cards they have.
Thereafter, criminals are able to have access to all the texts and authentication codes they need to break into the victim’s bank account or encrypted wallet.