AT&T customer lawsuit alleges employee-aided SIM swap led to $1.8 million theft of cryptocurrency and more
Added 10-19-19 05:04:03pm EST - “Shapiro v. AT & T Mobility, LLC, Case ?2:19-cv-8972 (C.D. Cal. filed October 17, 2019)[NMR/SDP] Link to Complaint SIM swapping is a problem that many in crypto have unfortunately had to face, some multiple times. ? The post AT&T customer…” - News.yahoo.com
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SIM swapping is a problem that many in crypto have unfortunately had to face, some multiple times. If you're at all prominent in the space -- and even if you're not -- your phone number is liable to be SIM swapped (ported from your device to another.) This particular case doesn’t necessarily involve someone well known on "crypto twitter", but it does involve the alleged theft of $1.8 million of money including crypto.
A large number of SIM swap cases have been resolved in private arbitration, in part because of arbitration clauses that mobile carriers include in their user agreements. This case is one a few that have been publicly filed, and the allegations are alarming -- including a claim that AT&T insiders were deeply involved in what sounds like a devastating SIM swapping scheme.
The plaintiff is Seth Shapiro, a resident of California. The Complaint says that Mr. Shapiro is a “a two-time Emmy Award-winning media and technology expert, author, and adjunct professor at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.” He also was, at the relevant times for the lawsuit, a subscriber of AT&T. AT&T “is the second largest wireless carrier in the United States, with more than 153 million subscribers, earning $71 billion in total operating revenues in 2017 and $71 billion in 2018.”
The gist of the case is that Shapiro alleges AT&T failed to protect his account from a SIM swap that resulted in a major loss of cryptocurrency. What specifically happened? According to the complaint:
On at least four occasions between May 16, 2018 and May 18, 2019, AT&T employees obtained unauthorized access to Mr. Shapiro’s AT&T wireless account, viewed his confidential and proprietary personal information, and transferred control over Mr. Shapiro’s AT&T wireless number from Mr. Shapiro’s phone to a phone controlled by third-party hackers in exchange for money.
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