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Cryptos: Phone hacks cost crypto owners millions of dollars — but cops are catching on

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Early one Friday evening in autumn, Rob Ross, a San Francisco entrepreneur, was scrolling through emails on his computer, attempting to tie up loose ends ahead of the weekend when he received a trio of alarming messages on the screen of his mobile phone.

“Please approve this withdrawal request from your Gemini account,” the first message read. Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange.

“Tap to get your Gemini security code,” read a second.

And, finally, a third: “A new device called Chrome has been registered.”

At 5:47 p.m. Pacific time on Oct. 26, Ross had become the victim of a so-called SIM swap, in which a perpetrator is able to gain remote control of a person’s SIM, or subscriber identity module, card — at times, reportedly, by bribing someone with access to it — granting the perpetrator access to personal data, including email, phone numbers and passwords.

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