Briefing

Montreal teen allegedly part of a ring that stole more than $50 million in cryptocurrency: Police

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Last April, U.S. authorities told their Canadian counterparts that Samy Bensaci was relieving Canadians and Americans alike of their virtual currencies. Now confined to his parents’ house in the city’s northeast, Bensaci faces various fraud-related charges in an Ontario court. (La Presse)

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Talking point: Bensaci allegedly engaged in “SIM swapping,” a decidedly low-tech method of hijacking cryptocurrency accounts. Authorities say ring members acquired the phone numbers of the victims—many of whom were attendees of New York’s Consensus cryptocurrency convention—then impersonated the victims in reporting a stolen phone. Using a new SIM card, they would go about emptying their virtual bank accounts. Among the alleged victims: Toronto businessman Don Tapscott, co-founder and executive chairman of the Blockchain Research Institute.