Federal prosecutors on Wednesday said two men have been indicted for stealing cryptocurrency from victims through a SIM-swapping and phishing fraud scheme.
Twenty-one-year old Jordan K. Milleson of Maryland and 19-year-old Kyell A. Bryan of Pennsylvania allegedly collaborated in the theft of $16,847 in cryptocurrency from one victim (the owner of a “digital currency investment” company, says one filing) during the summer of 2019.
Milleson allegedly staged bogus websites and emails through which he “phished” login credentials from victims. He, Bryan and others then compromised the victim’s mobile phone through SIM swapping, the Department of Justice alleged in a press statement.
Prosecutors additionally claim Bryan tried to “SWAT” Milleson’s residence in “retaliation for Milleson failing to share the proceeds of the digital currency theft.”
The pair face allegations of wire fraud, unauthorized access to protected computers in furtherance of fraud, intentional damage to protected computers, aggravated identity theft and wire fraud conspiracy in Maryland’s federal district court.
The case should remind members of the cryptocurrency community of the dangers of storing crypto on hot wallets, especially those secured via two-factor authentication methods such as text confirmation. Weakly secured cellular accounts are often an inadequate defense against hackers bent on compromising known crypto holders’ wallets.