The student was charged with robbing more than 40 people with cash and crypto by swiping with a SIM

A university student in the United States has been charged with fraud after defrauding people of more than 40 dollars through a SIM exchange program. The program involves a student stealing the identity of the victim by controlling his or her phone number.

The case was raised by the U.S. Department of Justice in a press release on Monday. According to the case, which was first seen by The Verge, the defendant is Richard Yuan Li, who studied at the University of California San Diego. Li was charged with his actions on August 26.

The case alleges that Li was using a SIM exchange program, in which he took ownership of others by controlling their phone numbers. Li then contacted the victims and robbed them of cryptocurrency and other payments. Li robbed “at least 40 people” about the plan.

Li used the app using the iPhone 8, which he acquired from Apple service in 2018. Li confirmed that the service had sent him an iPhone 8 instead of the one he said was missing in the post.

Li then contacted network carriers assuming the victim’s identity and convinced them to enter the victim’s number on the iPhone 8. Once the network providers accepted this, Li had complete control over the victim’s phone number and related accounts.

In some cases, Li used this phone number control to access the victim’s crypto wallet and empty it. In most cases, however, Li contacted the victim and demanded a cash ransom or cryptocurrency to give control of the phone number.

“Li and his colleagues contacted the victims and demanded that they pay a fine to avoid further damages, including additional account relaxation, the loss of additional cryptocurrency funds, and the secrecy of the victims’ confidentiality obtained by the conspirators,” the DOJ wrote in the lawsuit.

Since phone numbers these days are one of the biggest ways to prove your identity, a set phone number can be a big problem for anyone.

Almost all online services with two-factor authentication in the area require a phone number as one of the steps to verify. Li was therefore able to access such victims’ accounts, carrying their telephone numbers.

Li now faces charges of telephone fraud, theft of sensitive information, and “conspiracy to commit fraud and fraud and computer abuse.” If convicted, he could pay Li a 20-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $ 250,000.

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