Lieutenant Hugo Fournier, spokesperson for the Canadian police force – the Sûreté du Québec – said the SIM-swapping scam netted the thieves “$ 50 million from our neighbours to the south and $ 300,000 in Canada” in 2018.
The gang allegedly used a SIM swapping technique, where fraudsters can get access to phones and all of the apps – including crypto wallets.
Bensaci was arrested in Victoria, British Colombia, in November and charged with fraudulently obtaining computer service, committing fraud over $ 5,000, identity fraud, and illegally accessing computer data, reports Infosecurity Magazine.
Last month the teen was released on $ 200,000 bail and was banned from accessing “any computer, tablet, mobile phone, game console, including PS3, PS4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, or any other device capable of accessing the Internet”.
He is also banned from owning or trading cryptocurrency.
Many alleged victims attended a cryptocurrency conference called Consensus in New York.
Rob Ross, an American victim of the scheme who was robbed of $ 1m in cryptocurrency in two separate attacks, told La Presse: “We suspect that hackers spot targets during such events.”
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