Crypto investor Michael Terpin has written an open letter to the federal communication commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Patel, requesting urgent action on SIM swapping fraud.
Passwords and “No port” options
Terpin, who has lost money due to SIM swapping himself, asked the regulator to make mobile carriers hide customer passwords from employees. He also urged the regulator to introduce a “no port” option, whereby customers would have to go through a company’s fraud department before transferring their SIM information to a new phone.
SIM swaps have become a thorn in the flesh of a lot of crypto investors. SIM swapping involves criminals who pose as the owners of a victim’s mobile phone number, and convincing telecom providers to give them access to the SIM card. In August last year, Terpin sued AT&T alleging that the firm’s employees had been complicit in a SIM swap that saw hackers steal $24 million worth of cryptocurrency. A similar kind of hack also affected Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Terpin’s lawsuit got the nod from a Los Angeles federal judge who ruled that AT&T must answer to the suit. The Lawsuit also alleges a violation of the Federal Communications Act, a breach of contract and other violations. Terpin is seeking $23.8 Million in compensatory damages as well as $200 million in punitive damages.
The court has granted Terpin the right to try both a claim of breach of contract and a violation of the Federal Communication Act in court. AT&T have pushed back aggressively pushing Terpin to prove that he lost cryptocurrency during the hack and that AT&T was responsible for his economic losses. Terpin’s letter to the FCC highlighted that more than 50 people had reached out to him complaining about SIM swapping hacks as well. He implored the FCC to clamp down on SIM swapping as hard as they went after Robocalling.
Terpin to meet the FCC
Terpin suggested remedies that would see telecom company employees not being exposed to customer passwords, while consumers enter themselves. A “no port” option would see customers go through a telecom’s fraud department if they wanted to transfer their SIM information without their old phone present. Terpin hopes to meet the FCC chairman soon to make his case. He made it clear that he hoped to help eliminate cases of SIM swapping.
“I hope this doesn’t happen to future generations of people interested in cryptocurrency and Blockchain or that they’re afraid to get in because they think they will be hacked,”
According to Terpin, “There’s no future of a billion people on Blockchain without the phone companies fixing this.”
He also pointed out that the FCC was doing an impeccable job at clamping down on Robocalling, yet not that many are losing millions because of it. His meeting with the FCC is not just for himself, but the entire crypto community.