It is no secret that crypto, like any other form of currency, is susceptible to theft and because it exists within the digital space and does not require physical contact to be transferred, it is especially susceptible to criminals who wish to steal it from their owners. The methods of stealing have involved SIM swapping, hacking into wallets and exchanges and various cryptocurrency scams and these have had various degrees of success. The good thing is that as information about cryptocurrency becomes more widely circulated, individuals are educated about how to prevent the theft of their crypto and law enforcement is better able to prosecute these criminals.
One of the latest of these prosecutions is a Canadian teen who has been charged for a $50 million cryptocurrency theft which made use of SIM swapping.
The suspect in question is named Samy Bensac and he is an 18-year-old from Montreal. According to Quebec authorities, he had taken part in a scheme that targeted Canadian and American crypto holders in the spring of 2018 and up to $50 million was stolen as a result. He is now facing four charges for his crimes.
It is estimated that he stole up to $50 million from Americans and another 300,000 from Canadians and two of his alleged victims were Don and Alex Tapscott who are famous for authoring the book called “Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World.”
Tapscott has confirmed to authorities that he was targeted in the scheme but did not mention whether or not the hacker succeeded in stealing funds from him.
“We can confirm that last year a hacker attempted steal crypto assets from our company and its employees. That attempt was unsuccessful. We cooperated with the police [and] have been impressed with their determination to bring those responsible to justice,” he said.
Bensac was first arrested in Victoria, British Columbia in November 2019 and was eventually released on bail of $153,000 and was prohibited from accessing any devices that could connect to the internet including video game consoles. He is now awaiting trial.