By Tara Rippin •
Published: 13 Feb 2021 • 17:00
CREDIT: tomekwalecki from Pixabay
Police in Europe bust gang hijacking stars’ phones and arrest 10.
THE criminal group allegedly hijacked mobiles belonging to American celebrities, internet influencers and sports and music stars to glean personal information and millions in cryptocurrency, according to authorities.
Arrests have been made in the UK, Malta and Belgium, said Europol, confirming the gang is suspected of stealing more than $100 million (€83 million) in cryptocurrencies by using so-called SIM swap attacks.
The tactic enabled the gang to transfer the mobile number to another card which they controlled by deactivating the SIM card by using a corrupt insider or by fooling the phone company.
None of the victims have been named, and the European Union police agency has not revealed the nationalities of those arrested, though the UK’s National Crime Agency revealed this week eight men were detained in England and Scotland.
Europol has warned that SIM swapping is an increasing threat carried out by scammers, reports The Associated Press.
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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.
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