US Indicts Two More Men on Fraud and Extortion in SIM-Swapping Investigation

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United States law enforcement has indicted two more men over alleged SIM-swapping scams involving cryptocurrency. A press release from the Northern District of California Attorney’s Office confirmed the indictment on Feb. 4.

Ahmad Wagaafe Hared and Matthew Gene Ditman, who prosecutors accuse of conducting fraud, extortion and identity theft, were released on bond pending two trials set for Feb. 6 and 19.

SIM-swapping, an increasingly popular scam among cryptocurrency thieves, involves perpetrators convincing cellphone operator staff to transfer cell phone numbers from victims’ devices in the hope of hacking crypto exchange accounts.

Hared and Ditman, along with unnamed co-conspirators, also reportedly attempted to steal other sensitive data.

“The indictment further alleges that after Hared, Ditman, and others gained control of victims’ cellphone [sic] numbers, they used additional deceptive techniques to gain access to email, electronic storage, and other accounts of victims and ultimately to cryptocurrency accounts of victims,” the press release continues, underlining:

“Hared, Ditman, and their co-conspirators also extorted victims of the SIM swapping scheme.”

The pair could face five-year prison sentences and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines if convicted.

As Cointelegraph continues to report, instances of SIM-swapping are becoming ever more widely reported, particularly in the U.S.

Last week, a New York resident was indicted in what constituted the jurisdiction’s first SIM-swapping prosecution.

Last month also saw a 21-year-old American man named as the main suspect in a $24 million SIM-swapping scam.