Teen Arrested In Ontario After Allegedly Stealing $46 Million In Cryptocurrency From One Individual In The United States

An Ontario teenager was arrested after allegedly stealing $46 million from a single person in a massive cryptocurrency scam in the United States.

Hamilton police announced the arrest on Wednesday, following a joint investigation that began in March 2020 with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the United States Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force.

According to police, the victim was the victim of a SIM swap attack, which involves manipulating cellular network carriers in order for scammers to intercept two-factor authentication requests.

“The joint investigation revealed that some of the stolen cryptocurrency was used to purchase an online username that was considered to be rare in the gaming community,” police said in a statement. “This transaction led investigators to uncover the account holder of the rare username.”

In connection with the incident, a Hamilton adolescent was arrested in mid-2020 for theft over $5,000 and possession of property or proceeds of property obtained by crime.

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Investigators have not revealed the suspect’s age.

“Because of the YCJA [Youth Criminal Justice Act] and just because it’s part of our investigation, we made the decision not to disclose the age of the accused,”

CTV News Toronto spoke with Det. Const. Kenneth Kirkpatrick.

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According to investigators, this is the largest cryptocurrency scam involving a single person in Canadian history.

As the case proceeds through the courts, Hamilton police are urging the public to be cautious about the security of their funds, whether held in crypto or centralized currency.

“If you have 15 accounts all with the same password, you’re definitely not secure,” Kirkpatrick said. “So having different passwords for each different account, that’s very important.”

Kirkpatrick continued, “Multi-factor authentication is critical to protecting your personal information and money.”

“Often, all these accounts have the ability to add a second factor, or even third-factor authentication…In today’s day and age, you need to kind of go one step further,”

He said.

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CTV News Toronto has requested more information from the FBI and the United States Secret Electronic Crimes Task Force and is awaiting a response.

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