Aussies snatch woman who ripped off $450,000 XRP from man’s account

Police recommend people introduce multi-step authentication security to all their computers and online accounts to avoid being victimised by hackers, who have stolen about $1.1 billion in crypto this year

Aussie police have arrested a woman who allegedly ripped off $450,000 (£348,700) worth of Ripple (XRP) by hacking into a 56-year old man’s computer and taking control of his cryptocurrency account.

New South Wales police raided the home of the 23-year old woman from Sidney after a 10-month investigation by detectives from the State Crime Command’s Cybercrime Squad.

The victim told investigators his email account had been hacked in December and that 100,000 XRP had been stolen. The cryptocurrency was trading at about $3.18 (£2.46) at the time of the theft. Currently, the altcoin is priced about $0.45 (£0.35) after a 90% drop since its peak in January of $3.39 (£2.63).

He was locked out his account for two days and, when he finally got back control, he realised what had happened.

Detectives will claim the woman took over her victim’s email account and locked him out by changing his password and enabling a mobile phone number as a second authentication step on his account.

She then transferred over 100,000 XRP into a crypto exchange in China, and converted the XRP into Bitcoin. She has been granted strict conditional bail and is due in court on Monday, 19th November.

Enabling multi-step authentication

Police have warned citizens to enable multi-step authentication on accounts to help protect from hackers.

“An email account is more valuable than people realise — scammers are increasingly targeting emails as they link the individual to financial accounts and other personal information,” says Cybercrime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis.

“There is often valuable information saved in sent items or the trash, and scammers will look for anything that will assist in taking over your identity or accessing your finances. That is the modern equivalent of digging through a household rubbish bin or stealing mail.”

He concludes: “Your personal information is an extremely valuable commodity to criminals and needs be treated and secured as you would cash”.

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