Crypto investor Michael Terpin has written an open letter to Federal Communication Fee (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai requesting pressing motion on SIM swapping fraud.
Terpin, a sufferer of SIM swapping himself, requested the regulator to make cell carriers conceal buyer passwords from staff and to offer a “no port” choice, whereby prospects must undergo an organization’s fraud division earlier than transferring their SIM data to a brand new telephone.
In a SIM swap, criminals pose because the homeowners of a sufferer’s cell phone quantity, convincing telecom suppliers to grant them entry to the SIM card. The identical type of hack affected Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in September.
In August 2018, Terpin sued AT&T alleging that AT&T staff had been complicit in a SIM swap fraud that noticed hackers steal $24 million in cryptocurrency. In July, a Los Angeles federal decide ruled that AT&T should reply Terpin’s lawsuit, which additionally alleges a violation of the Federal Communications Act, a breach of contract and different authorized violations. Terpin is searching for $23.eight million in compensatory damages in addition to $200 million in punitive damages.
The court docket has granted Terpin the proper to attempt each a declare of breach of contract and a violation of the Federal Communication Act in court docket. Now, the case is transferring slowly as AT&T is submitting extra motions to dismiss on the damages he’s requesting, pushing Terpin to additional show that he misplaced cryptocurrency within the hack and that the service is chargeable for his financial losses.
Within the letter to the FCC, revealed solely to CoinDesk, Terpin stated greater than 50 people have reached out to him saying they have been additionally victims of SIM swapping hacks, with hundreds of thousands in extra losses. Terpin implored Pai to research SIM swapping with the identical rigor that the FCC went after robocalling.
Terpin instructed CoinDesk that every one of these people have been from the crypto neighborhood.
“I’m sick and uninterested in this occurring whereas AT&T denies it,” Terpin stated. “There’s no way forward for a billion folks on blockchain with out the telephone corporations fixing this.”
Terpin’s prompt cures would imply telecom staff couldn’t see passwords and customers must enter them themselves. A “no port” choice would imply person must undergo a telecomm’s fraud division in the event that they needed to switch their SIM data with out their previous telephone current.
Terpin says FCC’s Pai has made robocalling “a high precedence” when he “doesn’t know anybody dropping hundreds of thousands from robocalling.”
He hopes to satisfy with the FCC chairman quickly to make his case. “I hope this doesn’t occur to future generations of individuals fascinated with cryptocurrency and blockchain or that they’re afraid to get in as a result of they assume they are going to be hacked,” he added.
Image of Michael Terpin, farthest on the left, from CoinDesk archives.