Richard Yuan Li, resident of California, USA is charged with sim swapping fraud and targeting 20 people or more and demanding 100 bitcoins. Allegedly, Richard will have to face a minimum of 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if the charges against him are confirmed.
Sim Swap Scam is a fraud method in which the person doing fraud allows the victim’s incoming calls and text messages to divert on a different phone number. Richard is known to have done this thing with at least 20 people and was caught after a long technical follow-up. Diversion of calls and messages allows the accused to obtain information such as identity numbers, email addresses, bank account numbers, and crypto wallet details.
With the advance in technology, hackers are using this technique and taking advantage of resetting the account passwords. Although there is a two-step verification process that every hacker needs to go through for resetting, that can be easily done because they have access to the calls and text messages on the victim’s phone. Even renowned YouTubers like Shane Dawson and King Back have fallen into the trap of such Sim Swap scams.
From January 2018 to February 2018, Richard is claimed to having cheated at least 20 people with this technique. As he has used this method to commit crypto money thefts, he is assumed to have a long list of people who have fallen for this trap. Another allegation is that the hacker didn’t work alone but in a team.
The confirmed information is that Richard and his team used questioning to gain e-mail addresses that were associated with crypto accounts of a doctor who lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. In this one, he managed to access the doctor’s crypto account by stealing the e-mail address associated with it and gained some significant information. In a guarantee to not use that information, Richard demanded 100 Bitcoins.
It is said that Richard performed 28 sim swaps and finally got caught by the FBI and will serve prison of the mentioned years and a fine of the mentioned amount if the claims against him are found to be true.