US crypto investor sues AT&T over digital token theft

August 16, 2018
Chris Wheal

Michael Terpin, a US cryptocurrency investor, has filed a $224m lawsuit against AT&T – his mobile phone service provider – accusing the telecoms company of gross negligence after the theft of digital tokens from his personal account.

AT&T accused of gross negligence in cryptocurrency theft

Terpin filed a complaint with the US District Court in Los Angeles stating that on 7 January, $23.8m worth of digital tokens were stolen from him through an alleged “digital identity theft” of his mobile phone account.

Punitive damages

In addition to his seeking to reclaim the $23.8m, Terpin is also sueing for punitive damages of $200m. The complaint said that AT&T had been previously contacted by law enforcement authorities about such alleged frauds.

AT&T responded to the allegations with a statement that said: “We dispute these allegations and look forward to presenting our case in court.”

SIM swap

The complaint alleges that the theft was the result of a so-called “SIM-swap” fraud, in which a service provider is tricked by fraudsters posing as the account holder into transferring the subscriber’s phone number to a SIM card controlled by the scammers.

The phone number can then be used to reset passwords and access online accounts.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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