Business

Admir Aljic

AT&T sued over alleged phone theft, crypto hack

A California man is suing telecommunications giant AT&T alleging that employees of the company helped to swap the SIM card in his phone to perpetuate the theft of his cryptocurrencies valued at $1.8 million.

In his lawsuit, Seth Shapiro alleges that between May 16 and May 18, employees transferred access to his mobile phone to a hacker, who fleeced him of his assets.

“AT&T employees obtained unauthorized access to Mr. Shapiro’s AT&T wireless account, viewed his confidential and proprietary personal information, and transferred control to a phone controlled by third-party hackers in exchange for money… The hackers then utilized their control over Mr. Shapiro’s AT&T wireless number … to access his personal and digital finance accounts and steal more than $1.8 million,” it alleged in the suit.

The suit asserted that documents provided would demonstrate that the actions of the employees directly allowed access to Shapiro’s personal accounts, allowing them to gain access so they could steal his digital assets.

While third parties had control over Mr. Shapiro’s AT&T wireless number, they used that control to access and reset the passwords for Mr. Shapiro’s accounts on cryptocurrency exchange platforms including KuCoin, Bittrex, Waxuch, Huobi, Crytopia, LiveCoin, HitBTC, Coss.io, Liqui, and Bitfinex.

Shapiro added in his complaint that it’s not the first time that such an action has occurred. He claimed there have been numerous occasions where his personal information and online accounts have been accessed by employees and the information leaked to third parties.

This was not the first time that AT&T has been sued for such negligence. On July 27, a judge in the Terpin v. AT&T dismissed a motion to dismiss the case. The plaintiff in that case also asserted that employees swapped the SIM chip in that instance and had been doing so for more than a year. That case is moving forward and is expected to be heard sometime next year.

In the latest lawsuit against the company, Shapiro adds that AT&T broke several laws in California, including but not limited to Unfair Competition Law, the Constitutional Right to Privacy and the Consumers Legal Remedy Act.

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