WOW!! 2 Bitcoin gone in the blink of an eye! If you didn’t know, right now 2 full Bitcoins are worth just over $100,000 USD… Which this amount of money could be someones life savings! To add insult to injury, you can see the transaction happen right in front of your face through the blockchain. Below is the screen shot of the the thefts transaction.
So we reached out to the theft victim and asked her how this could have possibly happened? Here is what she had to say.
“I filed a complaint with their cyber crimes. I’m still trying to uncover how it happened. A sim swap definitely seems possible since my service went out at the same time this happened. AT&T prepaid customer service doesn’t have any records of anything being switched. Could have been an inside job. Also my information was leaked on 3 a few recent data breaches that I can possibly sue for my losses. I filed a formal complaint with Coinbase too. I can see the address that stole my BTC had a half million worth of BTC transferred through it which most likely was all stolen. So I really hope someone gets busted. A lot of the BTC was sent to a chip mixer which is designed to launder crypto basically.”
“I was basically sitting on my phone. Suddenly my phone service went out and it said sim not detected. I called AT&T from my boyfriend’s phone and told them I think someone is taking control over my phone. They tried to connect it back to the towers and no luck. It was right before their customer service closed at 9pm. I started getting emails about the $1K purchase and the transfer being held for 72 hours. I had AT&T turn my service off. I went on coinbase and froze my account and reported I didn’t authorize any transactions. I was unable to log into coinbase at all they had probably already switched my info. I didnt get any notifications that 2.13 BTC were transferred from Coinbase Pro to Coinbase and then out of my account to this random wallet. I froze my bank account so the 1K withdraw bounced. I was unable to access coinbase for weeks. This happened Sept 7th. Coinbase wouldn’t let me in and made me go through a ton of stuff to verify my identity. The whole time I thought my BTC was safe considering it was in Coinbase Pro and not Coinbase. My emails only referenced the 1K. I just got into my account finally and noticed both Coinbase Pro and Coinbase had a zero balance. I reviewed my transaction history and saw that within 5 mins of my phone service going out they had transferred the BTC from Coinbase Pro to Coinbase and out to their wallet. I had no records from Coinbase that this larger transaction even took place. AT&T has no records of my service being switched to another device when I called. Yet that night the IMEI number they read off did not match mine. I had to go the next day and get a new SIM card completely unaware that 100K was taken from me. I searched data breaches and my information was released in a few data breaches like Equifax, Ledger .com and Parkmobile. AT&T and Coinbase have both been involved in class action lawsuits due to people getting hacked. In some cases these hackers have someone on the inside at AT&T working that can swap the service and then allow that hacker access to your 2 factor verification. Coinbase is saying since it wasn’t them that got hacked and it was my account that was hacked that they are not responsible. Although I think that in the case of a large corporate data breach the companies that released my information can be held accountable if I experience any losses. So gotta look into these law suits. In the meantime filed with FBI cyber crimes online haven’t heard anything and filed a formal complaint with Coinbase which I haven’t heard back on yet.
The other advice we kept hearing online was something called a “Cold Storage” crypto wallet, which is an external wallet, like a mini hard drive, that helps protect your coins and tokens in an external format so no one can login to your phone and steal your coins, which sounds like is the issue here and while this does help prevent your cryptocurrency from being stolen, it doesn’t help once they are already gone.
So What Is Our Friend To Do?
We reached out on social media and asked for advice… However we seemed to keep getting the same replies… They all kept saying… there way nothing she could do… Once a transaction happens on the blockchain.. it’s gone for good… Which is pretty painful for people the people involved to hear.
We reached out to Coinbase to see what their reply and advice for this person should be and will update this article when they replay.
So What is your advice for our friend? How can she possible recover these lost funds? or is she fully out of luck and does that mean a new form of crime that is going unpunished?