Man sues his phone company for $224m over cryptocurrency theft

Bitcoin Investor Sues AT&T for $224 Million after Mobile-Linked Theft

BitAngels founder Michael Terpin has filed a $224 million lawsuit against telecoms provider AT&T, alleging that its negligence led him to lose about $24 million worth of cryptocurrency to fraudsters, according to a CNBC report.

On 7 January 2018, Terpin alleges, the tokens were stolen from him via something he describes as a "digital identity theft" of his cellphone account.

Michael Terpin, a USA investor, has purportedly filed a $224 million lawsuit against the telecommunication giant on Wednesday, according to CNBC.

Cryptocurrency investor Michael Terpin is threatening to sue telecommunications conglomerate AT&T for negligence leading to the loss of almost $24 million in digital assets. Cryptocurrency worth $23.8m was stolen from Terpin, and he's added $200m in punitive damages to what he's after. That, he alleges, allowed them to intercept calls and text messages related to two-factor authentication that allowed them to steal cryptocurrency from Terpin's accounts.

In the past seven months, Terpin claims that his private accounts have been compromised twice through "digital identity theft".

The plaintiff hopes to receive in the lawsuit a $ 200 million payment for retributive damage and $ 24 million as compensation for the damages done.

The lawsuit goes on to detail a number of arrests by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in which cybercriminals stole varying amounts from cryptocurrency accounts by hijacking AT&T accounts with the assistance of low-level AT&T customer service representatives.

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The fraud looks like a traditional approach, where hackers pretended to be Terpin and requested for the phone number to be transferred to their own device.

Terpin emphasizes in the complaint that he lost millions because, "AT&T's willing cooperation with the hacker, gross negligence, violation of its statutory responsibilities, and failure to adhere to its commitments in its Privacy Policy".

The complaint said that AT&T had been previously contacted by law enforcement authorities about such frauds.

AT&T increased its data protections after the first incident, his complaint said.

The malicious swapping technique involves attackers changing victims' passwords in order to breach into the emails and phone numbers underpinning cryptocurrency exchange accounts.

"Mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency can not take place as long as phone company employees are handing over critical unauthorized access to the heart of everyone's digital lives", said Terpin.

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