According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a group of “Call of Duty” players from Indiana are reported to have stolen $3.3 million in cryptocurrency by coercing an Illinois computer expert into remotely hacking unsecured crypto wallets.
The Bloomington, Illinois resident told the FBI that he met the group while playing simulated warfare game Call of Duty online. The group, who is from Dolton, Indiana, apparently used an intimidation tactic, known in online gaming circles as “SWATing”, to pressure to the man into helping them with the multi-million dollar theft.
NewsBTC reports that SWATing is a dark trend in online gaming communities, wherein bullies make false reports to the authorities of violent crime at a victim’s home. This can be dangerous, as police response to such violent crime reports typically involves SWAT teams breaking down doors and can lead to accidental gunfire deaths.
Although in this case, the group merely threatened to “SWAT” the computer expert, the Illinois native claims to have felt pressured to such a degree that he needed to comply with their demands. The nefarious group of gamers gave the man phone numbers and other information necessary for him to carry out the crypto wallet hacks.
The FBI affidavit reports that by hacking into cellphones, the group was able to access and drain the funds of over 100 people’s cryptocurrency accounts. Over $3.3 million is reported to have been stolen, including nearly one million dollars worth of Augur Reputation Tokens. The stolen funds were later converted into popular tokens such as Ether and Bitcoin and moved into the criminals’ digital wallets.
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The Chicago Sun Times was the first media outlet to break the story, but has yet to release the names of the criminals involved. The Illinois man, whose home was raided on August 1st, claims to be a victim.
“I have done nothing but cooperate with Augur and the FBI,” he told The Chicago Sun Times. “I have never once profited from anyone [by] crypto-hacking, ever.”
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