The cryptocurrency investor Michael Terpin is suing the large telecom firm AT&T because his mobile phone was compromised by hackers who stole $24M USD worth of digital assets. Terpin says he was hacked twice in less than a year and employees at AT&T participated in a SIM swap fraud.
$24 Million in Digital Assets Stolen: Michael Terpin Blames AT&T
Michael Terpin the co-founder of Bitangels says he lost close to $24 million in cryptocurrencies, and he’s blaming the giant communications company AT&T. The 69-page lawsuit filed by the LA-based law firm Greenberg Glusker details that Terpin believes AT&T employees were involved in a SIM swap fraud which cost him the loss of a large number of digital assets. Major telecom services like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile have all been accused of PIN and SIM swap fraud alongside alleged data breaches. According to Terpin an “insider” from AT&T cooperated with a malicious hacker.
“What AT&T did was like a hotel giving a thief with a fake ID a room key and a key to the room safe to steal jewelry in the safe from the rightful owner,” the complaint reads.
According to an email statement, AT&T says they “dispute the allegations” and they “look forward to presenting their case in court.”
Failure to Adhere to Privacy Commitments
Not only does Terpin want his $24 million back but the investor also wants $200M in punitive damages. Terpin says within pages of the lawsuit that AT&T’s personnel have been accused of SIM swapping fraud in “numerous incidents.” Even though AT&T denies any wrongdoing in this specific case the telecom firm has had a lot of complaints about SIM swap transgressions in the past.
For instance, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection has issued a warning specifically about an “AT&T SIM-card switch scam.” On July 18, 2018, authorities arrested a man from Florida who was allegedly in charge of a giant “multi-state cyber fraud ring” that stole hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies. Police say they first heard about the SIM-card gang when a Mom from Michigan caught her son on the phone pretending to be an AT&T employee.