U.S. investor loses cryptocurrency via cellphone hack, sues AT&T

Michael Terpin, a U.S. cryptocurrency investor and businessman, has reportedly filled a USD 224 million lawsuit against telecommunications giant AT&T, accusing it of negligence and fraud. As per sources, the company’s negligence led to the loss of nearly USD 24 million in digital currency tokens for the California resident from his personal account.

Referring to a 69-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Terpin stated that his cryptocurrency was stolen by a digital identity theft via his cell phone account. He alleged that AT&T’s violation of statutory duties, gross negligence and failure to adhere to commitments in its Privacy Policy were the key factors responsible for this theft.

Sources inform that Terpin has been the victim of two consecutive hacks that took place within a span of seven months. After the first hack, the imposter was supposedly able to access Terpin’s phone number with the help of an insider within AT&T, without an AT&T store employee needing a valid identification or a required password.

According to Reuters , the U.S. entrepreneur, represented by Los Angeles law firm Greenberg Glusker, stated in the lawsuit that after the theft of his digital currency, his mobile account was transferred to an international criminal gang. He stated that a SIM swap fraud was used by the hackers, a scam in which the service provider is tricked into providing the hacker with the subscriber’s phone number, enabling hackers to change or reset subscribers’ account credentials and accessing their online accounts.

Michael Terpin, for the record, is the co-founder of BitAngels, an angel group founded specifically for bitcoin investors in 2013, and Dapps Fund, a digital currency fund established in 2014. As per the lawsuit, he is seeking USD 200 million in punitive damages from AT&T besides the USD 24 million for compensating the loss of cryptocurrency.

However, AT&T’s spokesman responded to this issue by stating that their company will dispute these allegations when it presents its case in front of the court soon.