UK Police Warn: Criminals Steal Cell Phones to Get Victims’ Cryptocurrencies

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UK Police Warn: Criminals Steal Cell Phones to Get Victims' Cryptocurrencies For Angel Di Matteo @shadowargel

The authorities indicate that criminals would know that the victims operate with cryptocurrencies, so they invite citizens to handle these issues with more discretion to avoid becoming a target for criminals.


Reports published by local media in the United Kingdom warn that criminals are seeking to seize the phones of crypto users to take control of their digital assets.

Assailants Steal Phones to Access Victims’ Crypto

This is revealed by a report recently published by the media Guardian, which indicates that many assailants would be taking the phones of crypto users by force, and the complaints seem to indicate that the attackers are aware that the victims operate with cryptocurrencies, since the next thing would be to empty accounts in exchanges or in the same devices.

According to the media, a police report to which they had access tells the story of a victim who was approached by assailants while asking for a Uber. The affected person says that the criminals returned the phone to him, but when checking his account in coinbase discovered that they had stolen some ETH valued at GBP £5,000.

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Another victim recounted a similar case in which her phone and bank cards were forcibly removed. He later discovered that GBP £10,000 worth of crypto funds held in his account within The affected suspects that the assailants followed him, since during his stay in a bar he accessed his account from his cell phone, so he has the idea that at some point they saw his private key.

Phones as a target for assailants

Although the modus operandi seems to take on a much more violent hue now, the truth is that the phones of crypto users have traditionally been one of the main targets for criminals looking to get hold of the victims’ cryptocurrencies.

Another of the most used modalities is the act of cloning/impersonating the SIM card of the victims, with which they could enable the cell phone number in another device and thus have control of the telephone number to overcome the authentication mechanisms via SMS. This would allow attackers to access the accounts of those affected in exchanges and/or crypto services through verification messages.

Since the phones are also often linked to the email accounts of the victims, they also take advantage of the messages sent by services to request password changes and/or validate operations.

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UK authorities are alert

Faced with the growing number of reported cases, the director of the cryptocurrency team of the cybercrime program of the National Council of Police ChiefsPhil Ariss assured that officers would be receiving more training to be on the lookout for cryptocurrency-related crimes.

Ariss’ recommendation is for people to avoid accessing their crypto wallets and/or exchange accounts in public spaces:

“We are sure that no one would walk down the street carrying a bundle of £50 GBP notes while counting them. The same should apply to people who own cryptocurrencies.”

On the other hand, the invitation is also to remember basic rules to avoid being victims, among which it is worth not revealing yourself as a user of cryptocurrencies in social networks or public spaces, being discreet regarding your financial activities, and of course avoiding talking about these topics with unknown people.

Recommended reading

Source: cryptopotato, TheGuardian

Angel Di Matteo version / DailyBitcoin

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WARNING: This is an informative article. DiarioBitcoin is a means of communication, it does not promote, endorse or recommend any investment in particular. It is worth noting that investments in crypto assets are not regulated in some countries. May not be suitable for retail investors as the full amount invested could be lost. Check the laws of your country before investing.

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